We Have Entered the “Anti-Gender” Endgame
We are not going back to the way things were before Roe v. Wade. We’re going somewhere much worse.
Roe v. Wade is dead. I’ve written that sentence so many times, for so many years, that it barely registers. I’ve been mourning the loss for half a decade. I’m used to mourning now. Still, looking at the actual decision — written by Samuel Alito, leaked to Politico last night — it’s clear that the death of Roe is going to be darker than I had envisioned.
We are not going back to the way things were before legal abortion. We are going somewhere much worse.
After Roe is overturned, abortion will become illegal in all or most circumstances in 21 states. The “right to privacy” on which Roe hinges was established in an earlier case, Griswold v. Connecticut, which established the right to contraception; Alito specifically names Griswold as a faulty ruling, and it will almost certainly be overturned as well, making birth control illegal. This might not immediately inspire panic — why not just go to a safe state to get your abortion or your IUD? — but the states that pass abortion bans will also pass travel bans. If you leave home pregnant and come back otherwise, that itself will be illegal.
There is no cavalry coming over the hill, no Hail Mary play, no impending wave of pro-choice activism that’s going to save us. There simply are not enough pro-choice justices on SCOTUS to save abortion. The American news media never liked covering abortion. Democratic and “progressive” elected officials from Nancy Pelosi to Bernie Sanders made it clear they didn’t give a shit about abortion. The American public stopped caring about the GOP attacks on abortion many years ago.
For there to be a massive feminist uprising in defense of Roe, there would need to be a functional feminist movement in the United States. There isn’t one. Since approximately 2016, a misogynist backlash has almost completely dismantled it. Most feminist publications have been shuttered. The pandemic created a spike in violence against women and forced millions of women, particularly mothers, out of work and back into the home, triggering a generational reset on gender roles. #MeToo happened, and #MeToo foundered: Several GOP political…