There is increasing reason to fear that some time in the next year, the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade. I leave it to you to check the news and seek out Justice Breyer’s warning that the High Court seems increasingly ready to overturn precedent. This would be a disaster for untold numbers of women. What can be done?
I leave to one side fantasies about a car crash on the way to the Inauguration of President-elect Warren in which Justices Kavanaugh, Thomas, and Gorsuch are killed, and also pie-in-the-sky plans to increase the Court by two positions. Let me suggest a radical but perhaps manageable plan that could adapt to the new legal landscape.
According to Google [citing the Guttmacher Institute], there are maybe 930,000 abortions a year in the United States, Many of them are performed in states where abortions would continue to be legal if Roe were overturned. Inasmuch as California and New York are among many the abortion friendly states, I will assume that perhaps 400,000 of the yearly abortions are in states intent upon criminalizing the procedure. Now, it is of course legal for a woman in one of those benighted states to take a plane to another state and have the abortion there, and I am sure even now, when states like Texas have made it so difficult to obtain an abortion, there are a good many upper middle class women who can afford to do just that. Let us assume that leaves 300,000 women a year needing abortions for whom arranging and taking such a trip is either very difficult or in fact impossible.
What to do?
Here is an idea, bizarre but legal and, with sufficient organizing skill and enough money, manageable. Suppose a national organization were to be formed, using many social media platforms, to offer an abortion assistance service. Once the organization was contacted, it would send a representative to the woman’s home [in a random, unmarked, ordinary unnoticeable car]. With the driver would be someone trained to administer a pregnancy test. If it is positive, and if she can produce proof that she is not a minor, the driver will either drive her to another state and call ahead to arrange for the abortion at a safe clinic, or book a flight for her to an abortion-friendly state, where she will be met and taken to a clinic. She will stay overnight and be taken home. If she is a minor, she will have to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
What would this whole business cost each year? For 300,000 abortions, I am guessing 1 billion dollars [$3,300 each] should cover it.
So, the plan would require the public to donate a billion dollars. That is a lot of money, but it is entirely doable, with sufficient public relations promotion. Perhaps Planned Parenthood could run the whole thing.
Obviously anti-abortion forces would do a variety of things to disrupt the operation. It would be a struggle. But if Roe is overturned, the ground level outrage is going to be deafening.
Lord knows, I cannot organize such an effort. But someone could.