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Saturday, June 25, 2022

Abortion and Divergence

Megan Messerly at Politico:

Abortion policy is in the hands of the states following the Supreme Court’s Friday decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

But it could take months for all the legal maneuvering to be completed and for the nation to have a more definitive picture over where abortion is legal, said Greer Donley, a professor specializing in reproductive health care at the University of Pittsburgh Law School... Only three states — South Dakota, Louisiana and Kentucky — have laws that immediately ban most abortions.

Most states with so-called trigger laws require the attorney general, governor or legislature to certify that the court’s opinion does, indeed, overturn Roe, include a delay of up to 30 days before they take effect, or both.

In other states, court action will likely be necessary to determine whether states’ pre-Roe abortion bans can take effect or enjoined laws restricting access to the procedure can be lifted, a process legal experts anticipate could take weeks to months. That means abortion will remain legal, at least in the short term, in places such as Ohio.

 Ronald Brownstein at The Atlantic:

The increasing divergence—and antagonism—between the red nation and the blue nation is a defining characteristic of 21st-century America. That’s a reversal from the middle decades of the 20th century, when the basic trend was toward greater convergence.

One element of that convergence came through what legal scholars call the “rights revolution.” That was the succession of actions from Congress and the Supreme Court, mostly beginning in the 1960s, that strengthened the floor of nationwide rights and reduced the ability of states to curtail those rights. (Key moments in that revolution included the passage of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts and the Supreme Court decisions striking down state bans on contraception, interracial marriage, abortion, and, much later, prohibitions against same-sex intimate relations and marriage.)

Simultaneously, the regional differences were moderated by waves of national investment, including the New Deal spending on rural electrification, the Tennessee Valley Authority, agricultural price supports, and Social Security during the 1930s, and the Great Society programs that provided federal aid for K–12 schools and higher education, as well as Medicare and Medicaid.

The impact of these investments (as well as massive defense spending across both periods) on states that had historically spent little on public services and economic development helped steadily narrow the gap in per capita income between the states of the old Confederacy and the rest of the country from the 1930s until about 1980. That progress, though, stopped after 1980, and the gap remained roughly unchanged for the next three decades. Since about 2008, [Michael] Podhorzer calculates, the southern states at the heart of the red nation have again fallen further behind the blue nation in per capita income