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Abortion Rights Are Essential to Democracy – brennancenter.org

It is an intense period for abortion rights in America. Texas’s strict anti-abortion law S.B. 8 went into effect in September, banning nearly all abortions in the state; the Supreme Court thus far has allowed its enforcement. Now, in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the justices will consider a Mississippi law that directly challenges the precedent of Roe v. Wade.
In this series of essays co-published with Ms. magazine, Brennan Center staff members weigh in with their expertise and lived experience to reflect on the myriad democratic dysfunctions that have led to this pivotal moment.
Among the contributions are an analysis of adherence to pseudoscience, an inquiry into the role of state courts for protecting reproductive rights, consideration of the outsize role of big money in politics and the anti-abortion agenda, and a look at the legal and societal impact of criminalizing pregnancy and abortion, especially on communities of color.
The fight for abortion rights, the fight for equality, and the fight for representative democracy are all in service of the same goal at the heart of the Brennan Center’s mission: justice for all.
Jennifer Weiss-Wolf
Women and Democracy Fellow
Image: Stephanie Keith/Bloomberg via Getty Images, Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images, Bettmann Archive/Getty Images, Barbara Freeman/Getty Images, Peter Keegan/Keystone/Getty Images, Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images, Wiktor Szymanowicz/Barcroft Media via Getty Images 
Appeals to pseudoscience have undermined true reproductive autonomy on all sides.
Allowing the government to strip away liberty based on pregnancy status opens the door to expansive public intrusions in personal decisions throughout pregnancy and childbirth.
State courts continue to fly under the radar, despite their importance and potential for protecting the right to choose.
Candidates and elected officials pay too much attention to the interests of megadonors and special interests, muting the voices of ordinary people.
S.B. 1 and S.B. 8 are linked not only in their tactics but also in a larger anti-democratic power play.
Abortion funds often serve as a primary support system for patients navigating barriers to access.
The United States is more diverse now than it has ever been. Views on abortion vary widely, both among and within religious denominations.
Texas’s S.B. 8—and the public statements made by its architects—show just how much worse it could get.
When rights are stripped away, it is a unique and profound loss for law students, who are also experiencing an attack on their nascent professional identities.
We must beat the drum on menstrual fluency as a way to fight this wave of unsound, unconstitutional restrictions on abortion.
By allowing Texas’s extreme abortion law to take effect, the Supreme Court has created a crisis for the rule of law.

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