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Friday’s landmark decision by the Supreme Court to overturn a woman’s nearly 50-year constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy is sparking aftershocks that have already begun to change the character of American life.

The realization is dawning that a daring conservative majority on the Supreme Court, with its willingness to trample on long-held precedents, has introduced a destabilizing dynamic that goes well beyond abortion in a nation already internally alienated from the ideology can.

Conveniently and suddenly, abortion services have already ended in some conservative states. In some places, women in clinics were told Friday, right after the Supreme Court decision, that their chance of having an abortion was gone in the state.

• Wisconsin has reverted to a 19th-century ban on abortion.

• South Dakota’s last abortion clinic is preparing to move to Minnesota.

• Other red states are expected to act within a few days.

More liberal states like California vow to serve as havens for women and host interstate clashes that will further Balkanize America.

Fear is growing among progressives about what the court will do next. At this weekend’s nationwide Pride marches, the nagging question has been whether the hard-won right to same-sex marriage, enshrined by the court just seven years ago, is now being threatened by activist judges. There is growing uncertainty about how the ruling will affect fertility treatments and even contraception. And companies are rushing to hatch plans to compensate employees or expand health insurance to cover out-of-state abortion services, but also worry that leaders in red states are left standing before a fight.

Abortion is a deeply personal issue for people of all political persuasions. Many conservatives view the procedure as the murder of an unborn child. Many other Americans view the Supreme Court’s move as a callous violation of human rights, namely a woman’s ability to make decisions about her own body. Public opinion is often more nuanced than the black-and-white certainties of the political debate, especially about the point at which abortion should be allowed in a pregnancy and what exceptions should be made in cases of rape, incest or the health of the mother remains a reality, that a clear majority of the country did not want the court to overthrow Roe.

The core reasoning of the court’s conservative majority on Friday was that returning the matter to the states would allow a democratic resolution of a contentious national issue. The last three days suggest that the position was either naïve or willfully self-deceptive.

Republican leaders are already struggling, and in many cases failing, to find answers about how and if they will help new mothers who will force them to give birth to children they may not want, even in some cases after rape and incest.

In at least half of the United States, the Supreme Court ruling promised new hardships for poor Americans and members of minorities who, in many cases, cannot afford to travel for an abortion or who are already harmed by inadequate social services.

Leading Democrats have responded with strong words and vows to fight back, but have yet to come up with an effective response, either politically before 2022 or practically on the ground, where millions of women are suddenly left without their rights.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren said the court “set its legitimacy on fire.” And New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who accused conservative judges of lying in their Senate confirmation hearings about how they would rule on abortion, said impeachment should be on the table.

But as President Joe Biden left for the G7 industrial nations summit in Germany on Saturday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said he stood by his opposition to the court’s expansion and the abolition of the Senate filibuster. While the latter step would be necessary to codify abortion rights, it is unlikely that all Senate Democrats would agree to removing the 60-vote threshold. This new evidence of the rift between Biden and progressives could fuel fresh speculation about his standing within his party as he prepares for re-election.

Republicans celebrate – but face a new test

Republicans celebrate — but face new scrutiny

But after an impressive conservative win that electrified the GOP base, Republicans hoping to broaden their national appeal must also consider how to position themselves in a way that will appeal to moderate and some female voters amid complex and nuanced attitudes don’t shy away from having an abortion.

Former President Donald Trump basked in the credit he deserves for installing a radical conservative majority on the Supreme Court. As a rally crowd in Illinois chanted “Thank you Trump” on Saturday night, the ex-commander in chief proclaimed a “victory for life. Read also : Proving the Truth | Is abortion now illegal in the United States?.” Privately, however, Trump was concerned about the impact the upheaval would have on his White House hopes and Republicans in 2024, the New York Times reported.

Whatever the merits of the court’s hotly debated recent decisions on guns and the place of religion in society, its reversal of the Roe v. Wade’s 1973 ruling revealed a stark reality about the newly authoritarian GOP. The party’s most prominent figure – Trump – sought to deny voters their most basic right to choose their leader with his lies and attempted coup after the 2020 election. Then, for the first time in history, the Supreme Court majority he built along with Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell’s questionable confirmation maneuvers stripped Americans of a constitutional right and flagrantly flouted majority opinion. This confluence of radicalism will have a tremendous impact on US democracy for years to come.

For decades, the fight against abortion has been a central rallying point of GOP politics. But now it has suddenly become a government challenge as well.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, for example, dodged questions on CBS’s Face the Nation Sunday about whether they offer paid vacations to expectant mothers who are denied abortions, expanding health care coverage and how the state is addressing its opposition to use of abortions would enforce abortion pills shipped from other states.

“We will ensure mothers have the resources, protection and medical care they need. And we’re aggressive about it,” she said, before turning to an independent attack on Biden in an interview that was long on platitudes but short on details.

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Democrats search for a response

The Democratic response to Friday’s Supreme Court decision has been a mix of disbelief, anger and promises not to give up the fight, but no clear strategy so far. Read also : Politics at the Bench: The Desires and Challenges of the Pakistani Judiciary.

A CBS News/YouGov poll conducted Friday and Saturday found that 59% of Americans disapprove of the Supreme Court’s decision. That should give Democrats a solid footing to turn the 2024 midterm election and presidential race into a Supreme Court referendum. But high inflation and record-breaking gasoline prices still threaten to doom the party majority in Congress.

Speaking on CNN’s State of the Union, Stacey Abrams, Georgia’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate, pointed to a Georgia law due to take effect within days that would ban abortion after six weeks as she tried to raise the issue against her Republican opponent and to arm the current governor of one of the marquee halftime races.

“I would advise anyone, whether you are a business or a citizen, who is contemplating being in Georgia to consider the threat Brian Kemp poses to the lives and well-being of women in this state,” Abrams said Jake Tapper.

Speaking on ABC News’ This Week, Warren said the court had undermined its own legitimacy.

“They just took the last one and with the opinion of Roe v. Wade put a torch on it,” said the Massachusetts Democrat, calling for more judges to be added to the court.

A court does not lose legitimacy just because it expresses opinions that certain politicians may disagree with. And conservative scholars would argue that the majority’s recent rulings are justified by constitutional arguments. But the controversial construct of the right-wing majority — after McConnell paved the way for Friday’s ruling by blocking ex-President Barack Obama’s candidate in an election year and bringing Trump’s last candidate to court in the same circumstances — is undoubtedly tarnished Picture. As is the fact that several senators now say they have been misled by Trump candidates about how they would decide abortion cases.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York suggested that Trump’s Supreme Court nominees should be indicted for lying “under oath” about their positions on abortion. But even if the Democrat-led House of Representatives pursues such a far-sighted strategy, it is unthinkable that the narrowly divided Senate would win a two-thirds majority for a conviction.

But a new week could bring new decisions that underscore the radical nature of the Supreme Court majority. Already, she has used her opinion on the abortion case to almost deride critics who warn her to consider the implications of her literal interpretation of the 18th-century constitution for 21st-century society.

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