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A Post-Roe America Will Be Just Fine

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

We have about two months before the Supreme Court rules on Dobbs v. Jackson, and it’s hard to say just how the 6-3 conservative majority will rule on this case.

Conservatives have been disappointed by the court enough times not to assume that the court will come to a decision they like. Word is that Chief Justice John Roberts, who’s emerged as the key swing vote on the court, is trying to sway some conservative justices to find middle ground on this issue, where perhaps the Mississippi law that bans abortions after 15 weeks, which is at issue in Dobbs v. Jackson, could be upheld without overturning the precedents set by Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood.

Nevertheless, there’s no shortage of fearmongering from the radical left about what will happen if the law is upheld. One writer at The Daily Beast, Erin Gloria Ryan, predicts the apocalypse. Assuming that Roe is overturned, as Ryan predicts it will be, “American women in at least 26 states will find themselves living in places where abortion is totally or partially banned—this in addition to the millions who already live in places or under conditions in which abortion is so difficult to obtain it may as well be banned.”

Related: The Right Is Slowly Winning the War on Abortion

But Ryan also seems to believe that conservatives, fresh off of this victory and ending Roe, will target birth control next—because, it seems, conservatives are apparently anti-birth control?

I know; who knew?

They’re not really. Ryan cites recent comments by some Republicans about Griswold v. Connecticut, the 1965 case that technically made it illegal to deny contraception to married couples but did so by inventing a constitutional “right to privacy” in a context that ultimately paved the way for legalizing abortion and same-sex marriage. It’s a complicated issue, but I assure you, like every other accusation from the left, the claim that conservatives want to outlaw contraception is absurd. But when a bill protecting parental rights in education can be branded as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, it’s no surprise that the left feels like it can deliberately misconstrue an issue with impunity.

In Erin Gloria Ryan’s brain, Republicans will outlaw abortion (even though overturning Roe won’t do that) and limit access to birth control (which overturning Griswold wouldn’t do either). In this post-Roe, post-Griswold country she envisions, only wealthy and privileged women will still have access to them. “They’ll be able to travel to places where it is safe and legal or obtain one secretly and extralegally,” she explains.

“Abortion will still be available to conservative lawmakers’ mistresses,” she adds.

I think you’re supposed to laugh at that line or something.

Then, of course, comes the usual “Racism!” claim. “In a post-Roe world, the women who will most likely be unable to obtain abortion care will be poorer, browner, and less educated than those who will,” she says. “This will result in poorer, browner, and less educated women having larger families than they’d planned or wanted.”

As a result, she predicts economic collapse! Why? Because so many women will get pregnant because they don’t have access to birth control and be “forced” to follow through on their pregnancies. None of this will actually happen, and there’s never been any serious person who has argued that economic prosperity was directly connected to the availability of abortion.

On top of that, we know from polling and abortion statistics that the Mississippi law banning abortions after 15 weeks reflects mainstream views on abortion and actually would have relatively little impact on the vast majority of abortions. Statistics show that 89% of abortions occur within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, and only 1.3% are performed in the last 20 weeks. If every single state in the union adopted similar laws as Mississippi, it may cut into Planned Parenthood’s profits a little, but it would have a really small impact on the number of abortions performed in America.

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