Reproductive Freedom is on the Line. Let’s Hold Anti-Choice Politicians Accountable.

We knew what was coming … and here we are.

Today, the Supreme Court is about to hear arguments in the first major abortion-related case since Brett Kavanaugh ascended to the bench. 

Erin May Quade speaking at a Stop Abortion Bans Rally in St Paul, Minnesota. (Lorie Shaull / Creative Commons)

Rewind a few years—NARAL Pro-Choice America was on the frontlines of the fight to stymie Neil Gorsuch from taking Merrick Garland’s stolen U.S. Supreme Court seat following Mitch McConnell’s risky and reckless gambit to deprive President Obama of a Supreme Court nominee.

We were there again when Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh in 2018. We fought with all we had against the confirmation of a justice we knew to be an attack on all we hold dear—someone intemperate, angry, credibly accused of sexual assault and openly hostile to precedent when it stands in the way of his regressive anti-choice, ideological agenda. 

They said we were “hysterical”—but we knew all along that our very lives and freedom were on the line.

Now, as the Court hears arguments in June Medical Services v. Russo, we’re at that moment we knew was on the horizon, given the decades-long campaign by the unforgiving radical right to weaponize the issue of abortion for cynical political gain. 

This case threatens to decimate access to abortion care in Louisiana by closing all but one of the state’s clinics. Letting this law stand would be an egregious affront to the rule of law and the basic principle of legal precedent—and it could leave just one doctor to provide abortion care for the nearly one million women of reproductive age in the state.

The law hinges on medically unnecessary restrictions, masquerading as common-sense provisions. The reality is these restrictions were designed with one goal—and a quite cunning one—to shut down clinics providing abortion care. Louisiana didn’t dream this up; they merely cribbed the playbook from other states hostile to abortion rights. 

The restriction is identical to another in Texas that the Court ruled against just four years ago in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. So why is the Court revisiting something it struck down so recently?

You don’t have to look hard to find the answer: the composition of the Court has changed. Donald Trump made a deal with the devil on the campaign trail when he vowed to only nominate justices to the Court who would “automatically” overturn Roe v. Wade: a play to nail down the support of the small but vocal minority of voters in the radical right.

Banking on the alignment of their mutual agenda of resisting social progress and upholding the white male patriarchy, together they rode their alliance straight to the White House.

Trump followed through on his promises when he selected Gorsuch and Kavanaugh for the Court: two judges he knew would rule to strip away our freedom to make decisions for our lives, futures, and families. And now, they could help cement a decision that would give the green light to anti-choice lawmakers across the country to pass similar laws that chip away at our right to make our own decisions about pregnancy without political interference. 

The threat is real. The court allowing this law to stand would represent a leap closer to the anti-choice movement’s cruel endgame of banning abortion outright, forcing people to carry pregnancies and give birth no matter what. We would be well on our way into a dark dystopian rendering of the democracy we hold dear.

So if you’re among the 77 percent of Americans who support Roe v Wade, you may be feeling some despair. Or maybe you didn’t even know this case was before the Court and are wondering what can be done. If this sounds like you, there’s something you should know: The anti-choice movement preys on silence, apathy and cynicism. Don’t help them strip away our freedom!

At every turn, the anti-choice movements and its allies in power—including in the federal judiciary thanks to Trump and his chief enabler, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell—will disseminate their lies and disinformation to gin up their base and distract from their out-of-touch and wildly unpopular agenda. And this time, they’re relying on the Court to mask the unpopularity of their goals with a veil of legitimacy. 

That’s why the time to act, to make our voices as loud as possible, is now. We will not sit by quietly when there is so much on the line. And every senator who voted to confirm Kavanaugh must hear us loud and clear.

We know the Trump presidency hasn’t just gutted reproductive rights, it has steamrolled some of our most cherished democratic institutions. Here, the Court has an opportunity to do what’s right for our democracy: uphold precedent and strike down a law intentionally engineered to shut down abortion clinics and push abortion care out of reach for Louisiana women and families. 

When we show up at Maine Sen. Susan Collins‘ office or knock on Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner’s door, we’re reminding them that we’re here and we won’t give up our freedom. We will hold responsible the senators who rubber-stamped Trump’s dangerous crusade to stack the federal judiciary with extreme ideological actors hell-bent on rolling back our rights.

And we won’t ignore the lawmakers like Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst and North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis who urged the Court to end Roe in an amicus brief submitted in this very case.

We will use our voices, our actions and our votes to let the Court and lawmakers up and down the ballot know that we are the majority and we will hold to account all those who attack our most fundamental rights.

It’s simple: When you come for our freedom, we will come for your seats.


Adrienne Kimmell is the chief research and communications officer at NARAL Pro-Choice America.