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Saturday will be one year since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, and in so many ways, I’m angrier than ever.
The decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization has careened the maternal mortality crisis into a full-blown human rights crisis in the country. There are stories—sometimes daily—of patients who have nearly died as a result of an abortion ban. And those are just the stories that have made it to press. So often this year I’ve wondered about all the patient stories that haven’t been written about and the tragedies we don’t know about.
There is also the reality that overturning Roe has upended maternal health medicine in ways that could take generations to recover. Maternity wards are closing, and medical students are refusing to go into obstetric medicine because they worry they could land in jail. As a country, we have yet to grapple with these effects.
And what about the terrifying increase in threats and harassment providers and patients are facing? At what point do our lawmakers finally begin to understand that the attacks on clinics and patients have always been the canaries in the coal mine of the attacks on our democracy?
It certainly doesn’t help that in the year since Justice Samuel Alito’s Dobbs opinion was leaked, we’ve learned what a corrupt clown he really is. Since the decision, story after story has come out about Alito’s ties to big-money interests before the Court, as well as his connections to evangelical power players hoping to leverage the Supreme Court in their Christian nationalist crusade. The ethical breaches are so brazen. The corruption runs so deep. Alito’s skin is so thin, and it’s all just so, so bad.
But beyond just a circus of corruption from the Court, what this last year drove home the most is that Dobbs was a fundamentally lawless decision handed down from a fundamentally lawless Court. The chaos and suffering it has inflicted was intentional. And if Alito and the other conservatives on the Court could do it all over again just for kicks, they would.