Advocates on both sides of abortion debate prepare for new maneuvers, in courtrooms and beyond


On Monday, opponents of Florida’s 15-week ban will seek an injunction to stop it from taking effect.

Anti-abortion demonstrators celebrate outside the Supreme Courtin Washington on Friday, June 24, 2022. The Supreme Court on Friday overruled Roe v. Wade, eliminating the constitutional right to abortion after almost 50 years. (Shuran Huang/The New York Times)

The Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade has unleashed a frenzy of activity on both sides of the abortion fight, with anti-abortion forces vowing to use the ruling to push for near-total bans in every state in the nation, and abortion-rights groups insisting they would harness rage over the decision to take to the streets and push the Biden administration to do more to protect abortion rights.

The court said its ruling Friday was needed to end what it called a half-century of bitter national controversy sparked by Roe, but its decision set off more immediate and widespread controversy than the original ruling — and guaranteed pitched battles and extraordinary division ahead.

The maneuvering was already underway.

In Florida, where the legislature recently passed a ban on abortion after 15 weeks, lawmakers pushed the governor to call a special session to consider a ban after six weeks. In South Dakota, where abortion became illegal upon the court’s decision, Gov. Kristi Noem called for a special session to discuss adoption and health care for women with unplanned pregnancies, pushing back on accusations that the ban would dramatically increase health risks for pregnant women.

The National Right to Life Committee renewed calls toward its original, bigger goal of a constitutional amendment banning abortion nationwide. It and other anti-abortion groups pledged to punish prosecutors who have said they would not enforce abortion bans and vowed to take other steps to limit access to abortion, including pushing for legislation prohibiting people from crossing state lines to get abortions or obtaining abortion pills in states where they are illegal.

Abortion-rights groups were gearing up, too. On Monday, opponents of Florida’s 15-week ban will seek an injunction to stop it from taking effect. Groups promised court fights over the so-called trigger bans that took effect after Friday’s ruling.

The Women’s March promised street protests in a “Summer of Rage” and said it would back primary challenges to Democrats it considered complicit in the appointment of the conservative Supreme Court majority.

Abortion-rights supporters could take heart over what appeared to be broad public disapproval of Friday‘s ruling. A CBS News/YouGov poll conducted immediately after the court handed down its decision shows that Americans considered it a “step backward” for the nation by more than a 20% margin.

Nearly 60% of Americans and two-thirds of women disapproved of the ruling.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

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