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 on 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 discussion 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 also promised court fights over the so-called trigger bans that took effect on Friday once the Supreme Court issued its ruling.
The Women’s March, which rallied hundreds of thousands to demonstrations after Donald J. Trump became president in 2017, 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.
In Michigan, where Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has filed suit to stop a nearly century-old ban on abortion from taking effect, activists were collecting signatures on a ballot initiative that would enshrine the right to abortion in the state constitution.
“We’re going at it, we’re pulling out all the stops,” Ms. Whitmer, a Democrat, said on “Face the Nation with Margaret Brennan.” “This is a fight-like-hell moment.”
Abortion-rights supporters could take heart over what appeared to be broad public disapproval of Friday 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 percent margin.
Nearly 60 percent of Americans and two-thirds of women disapproved of the ruling. And 56 percent of women said the ruling would make women’s lives worse, far greater than the 16 percent who said it would improve women’s lives.
But it was opponents of abortion who felt like they had the wind at their back.
Kristan Hawkins, president of the anti-abortion group Students for Life of America, said its primary focus would now be on preventing pregnant women from getting abortion pills as a workaround to bans. It had also discussed proposed legislation that would allow civilians to sue anyone who provided abortion services over state lines.
“Ultimately our mission in the pro-life movement is to make the act of abortion unthinkable and unavailable in our nation,” she said.
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