I read Karen Fencil’s very thoughtful letter (Nov. 9) regarding “Mikes” Johnson and Garcia, where she discusses the theocratic, right-wing narrative of the new speaker of the House and the Republicans (including our own Rep. Garcia) who put him there. Here is another point to chew on.
Democrats are rejoicing yet another “win” for abortion rights. And while we have been on a win streak, ponder this: If the Republicans retake the Senate, win the presidency and hold the House, there is nothing, and I mean nothing, that will stop them from passing a ban on abortion.
Now, you may say, “But hey, Nikki Haley says you need 60 anti-abortion votes in the Senate, and that will never happen.” No, that is not true at all. You need 60 votes for cloture. That is not in the Constitution. That is not a law. It is a custom. Under Article 1, Section 5 of the Constitution, the Senate has the right to change rules by a simple majority at the start of a new session. The Democrats tried to do just that at the beginning of 2021, but could not get two senators (Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema) to go along. So there is nothing magical about cloture.
The evangelical right of the Republican base is adamantly anti-abortion. Not a 15-week ban, not a six-week ban, they are adamant that life begins at fertilization. If given a Republican trifecta (the presidency and both houses of Congress) does anyone really believe these militant right-wing groups wouldn’t demand that a national abortion ban be passed as the first order of business? Just because California protects abortion rights in our state constitution (passed just last year) those rights would be superseded by federal law. Would a federal ban be sued in court? Sure, and it would be fought right up to the Supreme Court. How do you think that will turn out?
No, the militant evangelicals would seize the moment and through sheer force demand the Republican members to vote for the ban.
A Donald Trump presidency would sign that bill and the abortion ban would become the law of the land. And once passed it would be nearly impossible to rescind. As I mentioned previously, the likelihood of the Senate being taken over by the Republicans is almost guaranteed. Currently you have Democratic senators in West Virginia, Montana and Ohio. Those are very red states. Joe Manchin has already announced he is not running for re-election. He wasn’t going to win anyway but this ensures a Republican win. After that I don’t see a realistic path to the Democrats retaking the Senate anytime afterward. I mean, you currently have two Democrats representing Arizona, and two Democrats representing Georgia. What is the long-term prognostication there?
If you believe a woman has a right to choose, that she has a fundamental right to make choices regarding her own body, we have to go after that handful of House seats that are in play. California’s 27th District is one of them. Mike Garcia would be a reliable vote for an abortion ban. Don’t let his doublespeak fool you. If given the opportunity to pass a federal ban, he will do it, California preferences be damned.
A federal ban will happen if the Republicans control Congress and the presidency. If you are opposed to that you have to vote Garcia out.