Talking Points

Abortion bounties and other cruelties await women when Roe falls

Roe v. Wade appears to be on its last legs. The Supreme Court seems uninterested in nixing Texas' abortion ban after six weeks of pregnancy. The court's conservative supermajority turned a friendly ear to Mississippi's draconian law in December. And not content to wait for the official ruling, states like Idaho are taking matters into their own hands, getting downright creative by announcing possible financial incentives for family members of a fetus, including relatives of rapists.

Other attempts to get ahead of the fall of Roe v. Wade are equally stunning, in some cases taking no account of women's lives, even in the case of ectopic pregnancies, where a fertilized egg implants itself outside the womb and which never results in a live birth. Missouri lawmakers want to stop people at the state's border so they can't access legal abortions in other parts of the country. And, in a stunning move, one Texas legislator has proposed that his state should impose the death penalty for anyone who obtains an abortion or who provides one.

Religiously conservative countries like Ireland and Mexico have decriminalized abortion in their countries, while the U.S. slides back toward the days of back-alley abortions, even though a majority of Americans support abortion rights in some form. Congress is trying to find a way to reverse these draconian state laws though the Women's Health Protection Act, but given the current makeup of Congress, it's unlikely to succeed.

So how did we turn into a country where a fertilized egg has more rights than a woman? The uptick in red states trying to enact these increasingly harsh abortion restrictions, supposedly to protect the unborn, is due to conservative politicians pandering to a certain set of voters in order to keep themselves in office. It's not a stretch to suggest that these over-the-top lawmakers are being emboldened by the wink and nod messages the Supreme Court is sending them by twice refusing to put a stop to the enforcement of the Texas six-week abortion ban until it rules on the case later this year.

At the end of the day, the question surrounding this barrage of extreme anti-abortion laws is this — are we destined to become a country where the voice of the majority is no longer heard, and the beliefs of a minority rule all women? It certainly looks like the Supreme Court will let it happen, and certain states can't bother to wait.