Democrat Says Overturning Roe v. Wade Would Fuel the 'Right-Wing War on Contraception'

( – Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Maryland Democrat who sits on the House Judiciary Committee, calls the leaked majority draft opinion on Roe v. Wade “astonishing and appalling,” and he warned on Monday night that such a ruling would “presumably” impact “the right to privacy in contraception.”

“The basic legal claim here is that the word abortion doesn’t appear in the Constitution,” Raskin told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.

“And of course it doesn’t appear in the Constitution, but the Supreme Court in 1973, in Roe v. Wade, hinged its reasoning on Griswold v. Connecticut, which was a 1965 decision by the Supreme Court striking down a law banning birth control, even for married couples in Connecticut. And the Supreme Court said that the due process liberty cause includes a right to privacy over intimate decision-making.

“So, the point is that Justice Alito’s decision would apply also, presumably, to the right to privacy in contraception. And we know, of course, that there is a right-wing war on contraception now. But if Casey is to fall, if Roe v. Wade is to fall, then Griswold v. Connecticut, presumably is to fall as well, because the word contraception or birth control doesn’t appear in the Constitution.

“Indeed, the phrase right to privacy doesn’t appear in the Constitution, so this would appear to be an invitation to have Handmaids Tale-type, anti-feminist regulation and legislation all over the country. And all of that is perfectly in keeping with Justice Alito’s opinion, which admittedly I just read in the last 20 minutes.”

Raskin seized the opportunity to slam Fox News and Tucker Carlson for guiding the “trajectory of the American right” towards “Hungarian illiberal democracy,” and to keep voters “whipped up about various scapegoats.”

“And that’s where the right-wing seems to be going with this decision. And the Supreme Court, if it actually goes through with this majority draft opinion, which has somehow leaked out and does look to me completely real, or at least an extraordinary forgery of what a Supreme Court decision by Justice Alito looks like, and sounds like.

“But if it does go forward with it, I believe that the court will have returned to its historic baseline of being a reactionary conservative institution to the far-right of everything else at the federal level in the government.”


‘Supreme Court is certainly not doing anything for us’

Raskin praised the “lingering faint halo” of the Warren court, which issued a number of landmark opinions, including Roe v. Wade, Brown v. Board of Education, Griswold v. Connecticut and Miranda v. Arizona:

“But for most of our history, take it all the way up to the Civil War, the Supreme Court, for example, never did anything for enslaved Americans, other than to cement and constitutionalize the system of slavery in the Dred Scott decision, and to declare that African Americans have no rights that the white man is bound to respect, and to declare that the Constitution is indeed a white man’s compact.

“And then even after the civil war, in the reconstruction amendments, the court articulated American apartheid in Plessy v. Ferguson, approving Jim Crow arrangements throughout most of the country. So there was that brief, few-decade period with the Warren court, but then with the Berger court, the Rehnquist court, and now the Roberts court, the Supreme Court has returned to that traditional baseline.

“And all it means to me, at least in my mind, and admittedly I’m speaking as a person in politics, but we need to turn out the vote like we’ve never turned out the vote before. The people need to stand up and defend democratic institutions and the rights of the people, because the Supreme Court is certainly not doing anything for us.”

A number of Democrats are amplifying the notion that “if Roe falls, your constitutional right to birth control will also be in jeopardy,” as Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) tweeted. “This has never just been about abortion. It’s about controlling & criminalizing our bodies.”

DNC Chair Jaime Harrison tweeted: “This sets America back 50 years.  Is this a return to back alley abortions? What happens to women that were raped & victims of incest? Will the health of the woman be considered? Birth control?”

Laurence Tribe, and American legal scholar and Harvard professor emeritus, tweeted: “Predictable next steps after the Alito opinion becomes law: a nationwide abortion ban, followed by a push to roll back rights to contraception, same-sex marriage, sexual privacy, and the full array of textually unenumerated rights long taken for granted.”


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