“We’re going on the offensive”: Several major American progressive organizations called on Friday to continue the fight for abortion rights that the Supreme Court struck down last week through the nation’s ballot boxes and courts.
According to their calculations, abortion has already been “impossible or virtually unavailable” in a dozen US states since last Friday’s Supreme Court decision.
Across the country, “women in states where abortion is banned are waking up pregnant and not knowing what to do,” said Alexis McGill Johnson, president of Planned Parenthood, America’s leading family planning organization.
But legal resistance quickly followed with complaints filed in state courts. “We’re not just going to defend ourselves, we’re going to go on the offensive,” assured the director of the powerful association for the protection of civil rights ACLU, Anthony Romero.
Legal action to challenge these bans and protect the right to abortion is underway in at least 11 US states, from Oklahoma to West Virginia, through Utah, Kentucky and Idaho.
In Louisiana, a clinic and medical students, for example, attacked three laws banning abortions, arguing they were too “vague” because they did not clearly state exemptions or associated penalties.
A judge on Monday blocked those laws until a July 8 hearing.
“We expect to see more complaints soon,” said Nancy Northup, head of the Center for Reproductive Rights.
This guerrilla should delay the deadline, but, according to the Guttmacher Institute, half of the states, especially the South and Center conservative and religious, more or less long-term should ban abortions on their soil.
The groups also called for mobilizing for midterm elections in November, when Americans will decide the makeup of Congress and a series of local elections that are sometimes decisive for the future of abortion rights.
US President Joe Biden on Friday once again condemned the Supreme Court’s “terrible and serious” decision, which he said would “turn lives upside down”. The Democratic leader has urged Americans to go to the polls in November to increase his majority in the Senate and try to pass federal legislation protecting abortion rights.