Abby Philips, a very good reporter from CNN, accused me of downplaying the Dobbs decision with this tweet:
But it is actually the reality, not downplaying the effects of Dobbs.
Ending Roe will not ban abortion. It just allows state legislatures to decide the issue instead of federal fiat by a few of our black-robed masters in the Supreme Court. There are some states with laws that will go into effect officially banning abortion, but they have already effectively done so through regulation, zoning, discouragement of facilities, etc. A lot of states have few if any abortion clinics.
Last year, there were 880,000 abortions in a nation of 330 million people.
That is not a lot. You’re more likely to know a married gay couple than to know someone who has had an abortion. Also, according to research from Notre Dame, the views of those who have had abortions is far more complex and less supportive of abortion rights than most people who have you believe. Check out this quote from that research:
"None of the Americans we interviewed talked about abortion as a desirable good. Views range in terms of abortion’s preferred availability, justification, or need, but Americans do not uphold abortion as a happy event, or something they want more of. From restrictive to ambivalent to permissive, we instead heard about the desire to prevent, reduce, and eliminate potentially difficult or unexpected circumstances that predicate abortion decisions ... Stories from those who have had abortions are likewise harrowing, even when the person telling it retains a commitment to abortion’s availability."
The reality is nothing is really going to change. People who want an abortion may have to travel further to get one. Overwhelmingly, people will still not be getting abortions. A few more medical offices will come up for rent as abortion factories are shuttered. Protestors will clear out. State legislative elections will matter a bit more.
But life will go on for about 300 million Americans as always.
Last note on this — keep in mind that the press in the United States is overwhelmingly biased in favor of abortion rights. That shapes the coverage. So you’ll hear about massive upheavals, changes, worry, and dread, but it won’t really be true.
Most Americans will not be impacted at all by Dobbs. But hundreds of thousands of babies will be and that is a good thing.