“We’re going on the offensive”: Several major American progressive organizations called on Friday to continue the fight for abortion rights, which was overturned by the Supreme Court last week, through the nation’s ballot boxes and courts.
• Also read: Access to abortion: Quebec still needs to improve, says organization
• Also read: Here, judges are at the heart of recent controversial decisions
According to their calculations, abortion has already been made “inaccessible or nearly inaccessible” in a dozen US states since the Supreme Court’s decision last Friday.
Across the country, in states where abortion is illegal, “women wake up pregnant and don’t know what to do,” said Alexis McGill Johnson, president of America’s leading family planning organization, Planned Parenthood.
But the legal counter-offensive was swift, with lawsuits in state courts. “We’re not just defending ourselves, we’re attacking,” said Anthony Romero, director of the powerful ACLU civil rights defense association.
In at least 11 American states, from Oklahoma to West Virginia, through Utah, Kentucky and Idaho, lawsuits are underway to challenge these bans and defend abortion rights.
In Louisiana, for example, a clinic and medical students attacked the three laws prohibiting abortion, arguing that they were too “vague” because they didn’t clearly specify the exceptions or the penalties associated with them.
A judge blocked those laws Monday pending a July 8 hearing.
“Expect more complaints soon,” said Nancy Northup, director of the Center for Reproductive Rights.
This guerrilla is supposed to delay the deadline, but according to the Guttmacher Institute, half of the states, especially in the south and the conservative-religious center, should ban abortion on more or less long-term on their soil.
These groups have also called for mobilization for November’s midterm elections, in which Americans will determine the composition of Congress and decide a series of local elections that are sometimes crucial to the future of abortion rights.
US President Joe Biden on Friday again denounced the Supreme Court’s “terrible and extreme” decision, which he said would “turn life upside down.” The Democratic leader urged Americans to go to the polls in November to boost his Senate majority and try to pass federal legislation protecting abortion rights.