May 3, 2022 • 45M

Podcast: The Post Roe Era

Linda Hirshman on why the attack on women’s rights will only get worse

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Jeet Heer
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Protesters outside USA Supreme Court (Getty)

When I had Linda Hirshman on the podcast last December, I referred to her as “the Cassandra of the American left.” I was thinking about her warnings, going back many decades, that reproductive rights in the United States, as codified in Roe v. Wade, were under threat. But going beyond that warning, Linda has been prescient in predicting that the anti-choice movement won’t stop with overturning Roe but will push for further rollbacks to personal autonomy via the concept of fetal personhood, extend abortion bans nationally, and reverse legislation enshrining the right to buy birth control. 

With the leak of a draft of a majority opinion by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, we see that Cassandra has once again been proven right. In the draft, Alito strongly hints at support for fetal personhood. He also speaks slightingly of the rights to birth-control and same sex marriage as well as the reversal of anti-sodomy laws (although equivocates on whether these decisions can be retracted). 

In light of the pending demise of Roe and the dark future in the United States for reproductive freedom and sexual liberty, I wanted to talk to Linda again. We take up the implications of Alito’s decision, the likely political consequences and also the need for a strong feminist movement that places the issue of equal citizenship at the forefront of the political. 

Previous Posts in Anticipation of the Fall of  Roe v. Wade

Notes for the World after Roe: A short syllabus of articles on abortion and bodily autonomy.

The End of Roe and the Rise of Vigilantes: An essay on how the Texas Abortion ban and the threats to Roe v. Wade are not about nostalgic returns but rather intended to usher in a dark future.

(Post edited by Emily M. Keeler)

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