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Editor’s Note: A Power Grab for All Your Rights

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For more on the power grab, check out our special edition.

In a few short months, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the first direct challenge to legal abortion to land before the high court in decades. The case involves a challenge to a Mississippi law that bans abortion at 15 weeks in direct violation of Roe v. Wade. Initially dreamed up by anti-choice activists at the Alliance Defending Freedom before making its way to the Mississippi State House in 2018, the model legislation at issue in Jackson Women’s Health is so patently unconstitutional that not a single federal court has ever let it take effect, even temporarily.

What if I told you that, at the end of the day, the fight over abortion rights and access in this country had very little to do with abortion at all? What if I told you what is at stake in Jackson Women’s Health starts with abortion and ends with marriage equality, voting rights, and so much more?

The truth is, there is a power grab afoot in this country with conservatives and evangelicals using abortion as a kind of Trojan horse to go after all manner of civil rights. Their goal is simple yet devastating: maintain political power despite their own increasing demographic irrelevance and political unpopularity. The bad faith in this power grab might be easiest to see from the religious right in Mississippi, which lags behind in nearly every major indicator of “life” and now holds the dubious distinction of leading the country in COVID-related deaths, and where fetal deaths due to COVID-19 have recently doubled among unvaccinated pregnant people in the state.

There is a reason, as my colleague Imani Gandy explains, that the fight to curb voting rights goes hand in hand with the fight to roll back abortion........

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