MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace flamed the new anti-abortion law in Texas on Monday as “gender apartheid” that the conservative justices on the U.S. Supreme Court “for all intents and purposes have greenlit” by voting 5-4 to not take action to block it.
Wallace described the law as “draconian” and “gender apartheid on the medical front for women.” She called it “medieval” after the U.S. Supreme Court decision issued late Wednesday.
“In refusing to block the draconian, near-complete ban in Texas, the Supreme Court has signaled its approval for what is the most restrictive abortion law in the country,” she noted on “Deadline: White House.”
The new law prohibits getting an abortion at more than six weeks’ gestation ― before most women even know they’re pregnant ― even in cases of rape or incest. It also essentially offers a bounty to private citizens who can file lawsuits claiming that such an abortion has been performed or that someone has aided in an abortion past the sixth week of pregnancy.
Under the law, anti-abortion vigilantes can sue doctors, nurses, even friends who drive a pregnant woman to an appointment for “aiding or abetting” abortion care — and be rewarded with at least $10,000 if they win their case.
The stunning law is part of a growing assault on women’s constitutional rights as detailed by the Supreme Court in the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, Wallace added.
“The court’s decision last night is part of a larger battle playing out all across the country right now,” Wallace pointed out. “Ninety-seven laws restricting abortion have been passed in 19 states since January of this year in what is the biggest wave of abortion restrictions” since the 1973 ruling.
Former acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal agreed with Wallace’s assessment that the Supreme Court has essentially “greenlit the overruling of Roe v. Wade overnight.” Clinics that provide abortion services “right now in Texas are basically closed to most patients,” Katyal added. “And what the Supreme Court said is OK for Texas will now be the greenlight for other states to do the same thing.”
“Presented with an application to enjoin a flagrantly unconstitutional law engineered to prohibit women from exercising their constitutional rights and evade judicial scrutiny, a majority of Justices have opted to bury their heads in the sand,” wrote Justice Sonia Sotomayor, joined by Justices Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote a separate dissent to the majority opinion.
“In effect, the Texas Legislature has deputized the State’s citizens as bounty hunters, offering them cash prizes for civilly prosecuting their neighbor’s medical procedures,” Sotomayor’s opinion said.
For the rest of Wallace’s report on “Deadline” check out the video clip up top.