Don’t worry, I am assured by Alito and his defenders, the overturning of Roe will not put at risk the decisions legalizing same-sex marriage, contraception, and other basic human rights. This decision is just about abortion, they tell me, and then insist that it is entirely about pushing the decision to the states, and there is of course no reason to worry about potential attempts at a nationwide ban on abortion.
Even if I took these claims seriously (and I do not take them seriously), they entirely ignore the electoral pressure on Republicans.
For decades, Republicans have harnessed the Christian right’s hatred of Roe to get votes. Now they are on the cusp of getting that done. A bunch of people have talked about how the GOP is the dog that finally caught the car, with the implication that they have now somehow gotten themselves into a sticky situation and are in trouble as a result. I don’t find this analysis comforting.
Assuming the Court does overturn Roe this summer, Republicans need to find the next issue to demagogue in order to keep the Christian Right angry, activated, and reliably voting Republican. That’s why none of their assurances that contraception, LGTBQ+ rights, and interracial marriage are safe following the Roe decision. They will pick one of these and go after that just like they have gone after abortion access, and they won’t stop there as long as it keeps their voters scared and angry.