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A continued attack on women’s rights

Melvin B. Miller

When Trump ran for president in 2016, he promised to nominate candidates for federal judgeships who would overturn support for Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that established a woman’s right to abortion. The rationale for this position was to establish a strong political base with the Christian Evangelicals. This perspective pleased Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell who wanted conservative judges in order to shift the more moderate leaning of the U.S. Supreme Court.

The strategy of those who oppose abortion has been to establish impediments at the state level that preclude access to abortions. A Louisiana case, June Medical Services L.L.C. v. Gee, that severely limits the establishment of abortion clinics is now before the U.S. Supreme Court, and great numbers of Republican members of Congress have signed a brief to uphold the law. The law requires that doctors performing abortions must be admitted to practice at hospitals near their medical offices. Only one doctor in Louisiana meets this requirement.

Opponents of the law assert that the requirement is not medically necessary and it is just a subterfuge to reduce legal abortions by eliminating most medically secure operating facilities.

According to a New York Times report, 39 U.S. senators and 166 members of the House, all Republicans, signed the friend of the court brief to keep the restriction intact. That is 80 percent of Republicans in Congress. Clearly, the overwhelming majority of Republicans in Congress believe that women do not have the right to make unilateral decisions about their body.

In this presidential race year, the Republican administration has been performing in denial of the tripartite structure of American democracy. The executive branch has abrogated the authority of Congress and has shown limited respect for the judiciary. Voters should see that it is a short step to deny the rights of the individual.

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