By Charles M. Blow, New York Times
The Supreme Court on Friday issued a decision allowing abortion providers in Texas to continue challenging a new law that bans most abortions in the state after about six weeks of pregnancy. But while the conservative majority didn’t close the door on abortion in Texas completely, the degree to which it is cracked allows in only a sliver of light.
For now, the law in question, Senate Bill 8, remains on the books. Anyone who assists in providing an illegal abortion — from the provider down to the person who gives a woman a ride to the clinic — can still be sued. Roe v. Wade has essentially been overturned in the state, and soon that astonishing reality may not only become permanent there but may also spread to other states.
A key component of women’s rights and body autonomy is being snatched away as we watch.
In a dissent Friday, Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote: “This is a brazen challenge to our federal structure. It echoes the philosophy of John C. Calhoun, a virulent defender of the slaveholding South who insisted that States had the right to ‘veto’ or ‘nullif[y]’ any federal law with which they disagreed.”
I found the invocation of South Carolina’s Calhoun striking. Yes, he was a strong believer in nullification, the idea that states could nullify federal laws, but he was also a raging racist who went further than the slave owners who saw slavery as a “necessary evil,” seeing it instead as a positive good.