In a new “Red Alert” report Planned Parenthood published Wednesday, the abortion advocates reveal they are up in arms about Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court — not just because Roe v. Wade might be overturned, but if it was, so many states already are poised to ban abortion. Instead of sounding the alarm, however, Planned Parenthood sounds more unhinged than ever in this report. With overblown rhetoric, Planned Parenthood reveals they are more afraid nearly half of the states in America will ban abortion because the people want it that way — because of democracy.
This week, Rolling Stone published a piece which threw aside all pretense about abortion and wondered, “What happens to abortion if Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed?” Pulling from Planned Parenthood’s report, Rolling Stone details how awful the country might be for women if Roe were overturned and says “the end of nationwide abortion rights is staring us right in the face.”
Planned Parenthood’s press release about the report states, “Twenty states are poised to ban abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned. This means over 25 million women of reproductive age — that’s more than a third of women of reproductive age in America — could lose access to safe, legal abortion.”
This information is so false, it’s almost comical. While there’s likely 25 million women “of reproductive age” in America, it’s unclear what that threshold is exactly. More importantly, abortion rates have been steadily declining for the last four years — so it’s even less likely this many women are losing “access to safe, legal abortion,” because not all of these women would choose to have an abortion in the first place.
Planned Parenthood continues to whine that if Roe were overturned, abortion rights would then become a state issue, and 20 states are poised to ban it. On this, Planned Parenthood is actually accurate, and it’s high time states' rights were mentioned when it comes to abortion. Many pundits and mainstream news sources have been propagating the myth that abortion would not just disappear entirely (although I wish it would) if Roe is overturned. This is not the case. States would address the issue, according to their legislators' and constituents’ views.
There are several states — North Dakota, South Dakota, Mississippi, and Louisiana — that have “trigger laws” already in place about abortion. This means these state legislatures have already passed bills that would ban abortion immediately if Roe were overturned. This should not be news, nor should it cause an outrage.
States' rights are clearly enumerated in the Bill of Rights — abortion rights are not. The entire point of a state’s legislative body is to be a voice for their constituency and advocate their concerns in a law-abiding body. In South Dakota, for example, it does not surprise me, nor should it surprise anyone, that abortion is highly regulated and unpopular. There is one abortion clinic in the state, and last year, the South Dakota legislature passed a law that required providers “to tell patients certain information, such as, ‘Abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.’” This is the right of the state of South Dakota, and since the legislation was passed, likely reflects the views of the state’s conservative constituents.
While in theory it makes sense that Planned Parenthood is furious there might be men and women on the Supreme Court who would overturn Roe, the fact that the controversial act would then be relegated to the states is not only legal but proper. Even still, that some states would move to regulate or ban abortion, based on what legislatures believe accurately represents their constituents’ desires, is not just pro-life advocacy in action but democracy. This means that the people have spoken, and are still speaking, about their concerns over abortion. While abortions spiked for some time, more and more people oppose it, or at least believe it should be regulated. I wouldn’t expect Planned Parenthood to support this concept, but in reality, it means they oppose the vital voice of the people.
Nicole Russell (@russell_nm) is a contributor to the Washington Examiner's Beltway Confidential blog. She is a journalist who previously worked in Republican politics in Minnesota.