Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch has claimed that banning most legal abortions would “empower” women to re-enter the workforce while raising children. It would help them “achieve [their] dreams and goals” by being able to both work and have children, she said, adding that “maternity leave and even paternity leave are commonplace” and “men and women are sharing responsibilities in the home better than ever before.” Fitch further argued that the economy of Mississippi is so robust that women no longer need the right to choose.
The reality, of course, is that the United States is one of only six countries without a national paid leave policy, that motherhood is not a “dream and goal” for all women, and that the unemployment rate in Mississippi is not just higher than the national average but that its economy ranks 37th out of 50 states.
Fitch is the central plaintiff in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case that’s being heard before the Supreme Court in a transparent effort to overturn Roe v. Wade, a landmark 1973 decision that granted women the right to make their own decisions about their bodies (in this case, the right to choose whether or not to have an abortion without government interference). Thus far, the conservative-leaning Supreme Court has intimated that Roe may be struck down in the coming weeks or months.
On Thursday night, The Late Show’s Stephen Colbert weighed in, pointing to liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who said during the court’s remarks on the case that “none of the basic issues have changed since the court’s previously upholding of Roe, and Mississippi’s stated purpose for bringing this case now is because they wanted it in front of all these new Republican appointees,” he paraphrased.
Justice Sotomayor then posed a question: “Will this institution survive the stench?”
“It’s a valid question,” Colbert replied, before pointing to a poll taken last month revealing that 60 percent of Americans support upholding Roe, while only 27 percent want to see it overturned.
“That’s more than two to one. So if it is this unpopular, why is everyone saying it’s gonna happen? Well, I don’t want to get too technical, but… what’s the word… we don’t live in a democracy. Five of the nine justices were appointed by presidents who lost the popular vote; the last three confirmed by a Republican Senate who now represent 41 million fewer Americans than the Democrats. In fact, Republican senators haven’t represented a majority of the U.S. population since 1996. A lot has changed since 1996. Back then, the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor went to Kevin Spacey—and the Best Director was Mel Gibson.”
Then, the kicker: “And the Republicans have their nominees. Gibson/Spacey 2024: Still better than Ted Cruz.”