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Op-Ed: Congress Must Stand Up for Women Before Roe Falls


At long last, the jig is up. The Republican judicial nominees who tap-danced their way onto the Supreme Court appear set to end their flimflamming and take a bow for an act of epic deception: pretending they really, truly, honestly would respect the long-established precedent set in Roe v. Wade.

If the draft opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito stands in its sum and substance, the court would turn the clock back on women’s rights by two generations, vacating a constitutional protection that has allowed millions of women to make decisions, within certain limits, about whether to carry a pregnancy to term. The decision will also shred whatever was left of the court’s reputation for nonpartisan stewardship of the law.

That so much of the draft opinion is a critique of Roe v. Wade (1973) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992) puts the lie to the earnest, assuring claims the conservative justices made during their confirmation hearings about their respect for precedent. It’s abundantly clear that the opinion derived from their long-held views, not the particulars of the case before them.

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