TThe pandemic and the accompanying economic crisis have made clear, like never before, that women are the backbone of America. Before Covid-19, women made up nearly half of the workforce Thirds Of the lowest wage workers, the majority of caregivers. One in three The jobs held by women were identified as essential. Right now, millions of women are striking an impossible balance: working while trying to keep their families safe and healthy during a terrifying time. Others lost their jobs, their wages or hours cut, and more 800,000 Women left the workforce.
This crisis is disproportionately burdening women, especially women of color. They need immediate help, but instead of resolving this crisis, Donald Trump and the Republicans in the Senate have focused on one thing: lobbying through a Supreme Court candidate who wants to shed health care for millions and strip women of the rights they have enjoyed for decades. And they do so against the will of the majority of Americans, who believe that voters should decide who sets the next court date.
When Trump announced the selection of Amy Connie Barrett, Republicans were quick to portray her as a worthy successor to justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a lifelong advocate for women’s rights and democracy. They referred to Barrett’s credentials as “the woman”: that is, she is the mother of seven children. Even so, women across the country know what is at stake. During the election campaign, Trump, the nominee at the time, promised to appoint judges to turn Roe vs. Wade. Throughout the confirmation hearings, Barrett declined to disclose whether she would support access to safe abortion, birth control, or Infertility treatment. When it comes to the future of reproductive rights, her silence speaks volumes.
Roe v. Wade is not only at stake in Barrett’s court. Paid leave, affordable childcare, equal pay, voting rights, racial justice, and LGBTQ + equality at risk. With the controversy over the Affordable Care Act slated for November 10, Barrett may have a chance to scrap critical healthcare protections in the midst of the pandemic. At a time when we have just crossed the bleak threshold of 8 million Americans with Covid-19 and more than 225,000 deaths, the last thing we must do is to make access to healthcare difficult.
It is disgraceful that a president who has been impeached and lost the popular vote can install a Supreme Court judge who would adhere to the Affordable Care Act despite the majority’s support for the law – a law that made him unable to incur more fees on health coverage because of our gender, or refused insurance Due to a pre-existing condition such as breast cancer. It’s outrageous to see Republican senators prioritize this bad faith affirmation despite their failure to pass the much-needed coronavirus relief bill. But none of this is surprising. Barrett’s nomination is part of a broader effort by the far right to allow minority views to judge the will of the majority of Americans – in this case, women.
Women have been the majority of voters in every national election since 1964, and we represent the majority of ballots by mail and early voting before November. Over the past four years, we have demonstrated our political power through marches for women’s rights and black lives, volunteering for causes, and donating to campaigns. We are an overwhelming majority, and we should have the full attention of every elected official in this country. But we don’t, because deliberate efforts to undermine our democracy have created a system less responsive to the needs of people, especially women.
Make no mistake: The tidal wave of female voters and the record number of women elected to Congress in 2018 wasn’t possible thanks to our political system, but nonetheless. Supreme Court decisions to allow unlimited company money in elections, to get rid of the Voting Rights Act, and to refuse to address partisan manipulation make it difficult for women, especially women of color, to run for office, let alone vote. Barrett, who proudly described herself as “indigenous” in the style of Antonin Scalia, will establish a court even more hostile to our democracy.
If Joe Biden wins in November of this year, he should prioritize reforms that will make our democracy fairer and more accountable to the will of the people, including women. It starts with depoliticizing the court, strengthening voting rights, and reducing money’s influence in politics.
Not a single Supreme Court judge who has been asserted by a group of senators acting against our desires should have this force. We, the people – and we the vast majority of women – must define the direction of the country. And the best way to do this is for those who believe in reproductive freedom, affordable healthcare, LGBTQ + rights, and voting rights in large numbers in this election. We have to vote because our lives depend on it, because they do.