Supreme Court makes it official

No rallies like this one in May are planned, but Carla Cooper who helped organize this one hopes people will be spurred into action helping to elect Democratic senators. — Abigail Rosen

The U.S. Supreme Court made official Friday what was leaked a month earlier — the court’s majority supported upholding a Mississippi abortion ban in a 6-3 vote. The court also narrowly overturned Roe v. Wade — a ruling that lasted a half-century, and that was previously called “settled law” by several of the justices who voted to overturn it. The vote was 5-4, with Chief Justice John Roberts unwilling to support “repudiating a constitutional right we have not only previously recognized, but also expressly reaffirmed.”

The draft ruling was leaked in early May, setting off protests on the Island and around the country.

Despite knowing it was coming, Friday’s ruling sparked immediate reaction on social media and even an impromptu demonstration by three people at Five Corners in Vineyard Haven around lunchtime.

Carla Cooper, a member of Indivisible MV, told The Times no organized rally is planned, although there may be some spontaneous ones like the one Friday. Cooper’s group has already held multiple protests against the stripping of abortion rights, and she feels a different approach is needed, instead of “just standing out on the streets” when their stance is already publicly known.

“We’re just kind of processing this and following the lead of national groups,” Cooper said. “This happened so fast.”

Some actionable things Cooper said people can do are operating phone banks to reach voters in states with competitive Senate elections, fundraising for pro-choice candidates, canvassing, and pushing for the passage of the Women’s Health Protection Act, which is currently being considered in the U.S. Senate. Cooper said the ultimate goal, alongside the act, is to get Roe v. Wade codified. 

The Supreme Court’s decision stems from a combination of voter apathy and former President Donald Trump’s appointments of judges who are “religious zealots,” according to Cooper. “Women will be dying by this decision. Lives will end,” Cooper told The Times.

On Islanders Talk, a post titled, “How is everyone holding up today?” generated more than 130 comments in a couple of hours. “Absolutely gut wrenched, disgusted, sick to my stomach,” said Celine Falvey Maney.

“Not so great. I don’t think people realize this is about SO much more than abortion,” Natalie Nicole DeHaro wrote. “We’re in big trouble here. All of us.”

Indeed, Justice Clarence Thomas filed a concurring opinion suggesting that the Supreme Court should consider overturning contraception and same-sex marriage laws. 

Meanwhile, on Twitter, state Rep. Dylan Fernandes, D-Falmouth, reminded all that abortion remains legal in Massachusetts. “The Supreme Court’s Dystopian ruling does not change that, and we will do everything in our power to expand access in our state for women,” Fernandes wrote. “And we will prepare to be a safe haven for women across the country forced to flee Republican states to get basic healthcare.”

He went on to criticize the nation’s highest court. “The Supreme Court does not represent our country,” he wrote. “They embody how radicalized the Republican Party has become. They represent mass gun violence and forced pregnancy. They represent Jim Crow and fossil fuels. History will judge them harshly.”


  1. A great week with this 6-3 ruling on Roe and the concealed handgun ruling for New York and the Religious School tuition aid ruling in Maine. Three wonderful rulings. RBG and her narcisistic refusal to retire helped on ROE and many innocent babies will be saved in the future. One can still go to 24 states and get an abortion. You could go to Oregon for example where yesterday teachers said that ”eye rolling” disagreement is harmful microaggression. With all of of Trumps chaotic presidency he really hit a home run on appointing good Supremes. Roe/Wade was one of the greatest acts of judicial arrogance in Supreme Court history and one of the catalysts for the birth and growth of the conservative legal movement.

    • andy– trump and his cronies– namely Moscow Mitch, cheated their way into getting three lying ideologues into the supreme court. You think that’s good ?
      At best, trump could have gotten 2 — but really only one–
      I don’t know why you are so happy about this ruling– You have repeatedly stated that “13 %” of the population commits 80 % of crimes–and you blame fatherless homes for it.
      Well guess what ? That 13 % number is going to go up, as the majority of abortions in minority communities are sought by women who have been abandoned by the male sperm donor.
      And HOW DARE YOU accuse RBG of narcissism.
      Are you kidding, or are you just so blinded by your goose stepping ideological march into fascist hell that you don’t even know what you do.
      After all these years, it still amazes me that you can actually outdo yourself with even more outrageously untrue and divisive comments.

      • Don,
        You, by far, are the one commenter on the site that I like to follow because you have very strong opinions and like to call people out. So let me respectfully push back a little. You often are very divisive in your comments especially when us comes to peoples religious beliefs. It’s rare that you comment without bringing it somehow back to Trump and paint all republicans with the broad Trump brush. Your comments on the “13%” are also offensive and I think you are making the argument that many conservatives have been making for years that the amount of black babies being terminated is genocide.
        And it’s perfectly logical to say that RBG not retiring under Obama was a selfish thing to do, if your leanings are ideological.
        Politics is a dirty business and I am thankful everyday that I don’t have to be personally involved with the lying no good hypocrites of self importance that for some reason we hold in high regard.

        • Carl– You have good points. But let me push back a little.
          The whole abortion debate is based on religious beliefs.
          As is the LGBTQ debate.
          People like andy tell us about how his god wants us to live, and he chastises those who don’t follow his book– not that he actually follows it either.
          When should RBG have retired ?
          Moscow Mitch was in control of the hearings about SCOTUS appointments. I believe that corrupt megalomaniac would not have allowed a hearing on a replacement for her while he was in charge.

          Had she resigned in the last year of Obama , Mitch would not have entertained a hearing.
          We only have to look to the Garland case.
          She she decided to outlive a republican dominated senate.
          She fell a few months short.
          But she was a voice for the left during nearly all ot the trump debacle.
          I know there were plenty of republicans who did not vote for trump.
          And the 13 % thing– give me a break that MY comment is offensive.

          • Don… understood and appreciate the response. I’m sure we can agree that so many people are overly sensitive. And I’m not judging or casting aspersions on the 13% thing and I wasn’t offended. I love hearing all thoughts and opinions and I learn from everyone. I would hate to think what the world would be like if everyone thought the same things and agreed on everything.

  2. Andrew Engelman, seems like you couldn’t wait to put out some red meat, shame on you. I myself being unable to give birth since I am male have always held the opinion, those who can’t reproduce by giving birth should not be in the discussion, but like I said that’s my opinion.

  3. I think all the pro-choice women should form a religion. Not sure of the name just yet but their supreme and utmost beliefs are the rights to their bodies. Rights to abortion and birth control are the most serious of their religious and faith.
    Just let the Supreme Court decide what IS and what IS NOT a religion.
    I’ll tell you two things not mentioned in the Constitution, the definition of religion and Jesus.

    • Lorraine– I can assure you that a great majority of Pastafarians are pro choice. The church welcomes women.
      The supreme court would undoubtedly confirm that Christianity is in fact a religion.
      While there is clear and verifiable evidence that Jesus actually existed, there is no evidence that he has any jurisdiction over what happens on a daily basis today. He’s been dead for 2000 years after all.
      But keep in mind that the Flying Spaghetti Monster has never been declared dead.
      Given that fact, it would be more logical to follow the teachings of a blob of pasta and meatballs . And the teachings of the FSM are much more in keeping with our current social mores –
      For instance, the FSM does not demand death for those who work on the sabbath and does not condone the selling of anyone’s daughter.
      Sorry if that sounds divisive, Carl

      • Don,
        No apologies necessary. I was simply pointing out that it’s kind of hypocritical to call someone’s opinions or comments divisive without seeing that one’s owns comments can be interpreted as divisive. I’ve got thick skin and rarely get offended. But clearly others get triggered at the mere mention of the last presidents name.

  4. For years people were told/educated that a woman’s right to choose was her constitutional right and we just accepted it. It wasn’t until this decision being re litigated that we really found out that it’s nowhere in the constitution. Researching Roe, I was fascinated that RBG herself, on numerous occasions, spoke about the weak legal standing of Roe. For years she implored the legislature to fix it. The conspiracy theory person inside me wonders it this was just a ploy for the last 50 years to divide us and keep us motivated to vote. The sates will hopefully figure it out as I have full faith that we will do the right thing. Very interesting and trying times.

  5. Depending on the legislative make up of the various states this could actually open up access to abortions for women. No need for the rants from the likes of AOC, Schumer or Warren.

  6. These extremist, religious freaks sitting on our Court, and that’s what they are, believe in a god that hates women and loves guns. That tells you all you need to know about how a minority of AINOs (Americans in name only) with power pushed their misogyny back into ordinary lives. No wonder so many of these authoritarian freaks thought their god chose Trump to do their dirty work on the Supreme Court imposing their hypocritical religious beliefs into health care for women. These are the same cultists who deny that January 6th was a violent attempt to overthrow our government and seize power by a President trying to steal an election he lost. These are the same cultists who denied covid, killing hundreds of thousands more people who could have been saved if precautions were acknowledged and implemented from the top down. These are the same murderous hypocrites who carry on about “unborn children” and their woman-hating god who is happy to see lives of the poor and disadvantaged made worse. Sickening.

    • Jackie
      While many religious people will cheer the decision, it has nothing to do with religion. Any good atheist constitutional lawyer would know Roe v Wade was a bad law ruling – even RBG said as much. The Justices have taken both the Politics and the Religion out of the Court and returned the issue of abortion back where it belongs – with the people, through their elected representatives.

  7. Never clearer: Elections have consequences.
    Should be interesting to see how this impacts voter enthusiasm.
    Polls suggest 60-80% support the right to abortion. Time will tell whether this plays out at the ballot box.

    • Mike,
      Agree with you but the debate is how far along in the pregnancy is it acceptable to terminate. The extremes are the problem like everything else. I can’t believe some states are totaling forbidding it while others are allowing in the 9th month. We need common sense results.

    • Kelfer, try to read the ruling. The right to abortion is not over ruled. Roe is over ruled and sent back to the States for decisions. It was always a legislative issue, not one for the Supreme Court.

      • Engelman. As long as conservative parties control state legislatures, there will be no local abortion access for woman residing in the backwoods. I never wrote that this was a presidential-election concern. Nor did I write that abortion was made illegal. Try to read my comment before you sling a condescending response.
        Carl – we need common sense legislature that applies to all Americans,not just those who reside in liberal coastal Democratic stqtes.

        • Mike,
          But some would argue that it’s not common sense to terminate a pregnancy in the 9th month like you can do in NJ, one of those liberal Democratic states that you mention. Robert’s tried to thread that needle bur Gorsuch rightfully argued that it’s not the courts job to legislate what the proper cut off is. So back to the states it goes and with an overwhelming majority of people who agree that some sort of parental planning is warranted and some common sense solution will be had. Hopefully!

      • I read the decision. It clearly states there is no right to an abortion under the US Constitution. The Constitutional right to an abortion was established by the Roe decision. That is no longer the law. There was nothing sent back to the states for decision. The ruling restores the states’ rights to legislate abortions without observing a Constitutional right. The states are free to repeal, alter, revise or amend their prior laws, but nothing in the decision compels them to do so.

  8. It’s always interesting to hear a person from the religious right refer to a Jewish woman of valor, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, as having a narcissistic agenda. This brilliant woman devoted her life’s work to be of service to the American people. The irony here is that the extremist religious right backed the personification of narcissism. That would be Donald Trump, a person so filled with self-love that he takes credit for the overturning of Roe/Wade by the Supreme Court. His narcissism does not allow him to recognize he was tool of the religious right. And now they, the religious right, will not vote for him in 2024 because they have no further use for this formerly useful idiot.

    “Narcissus was a hunter in Greek mythology, son of the river god Cephissus and the nymph Liriope. He was a very beautiful young man, and many fell in love with him. However, he only showed them disdain and contempt… He loved no one till he saw his own reflection in water and fell in love with that; finally he pined away, died, and was turned into the flower of like name.” ~from the web

    Along with their misogyny and love of guns, the antisemitism of the religious right should also be noted, especially in regard to any attack of RBG whose life was really beyond reproach by sane people looking at how she lived and what she did. The religious right loves Israel, not because they respect that Judaism has an absolute non-acceptance and denial of Jesus as savior, (they don’t respect that) but because of the extremist religious right’s belief in Armageddon. In this belief, Israel plays an integral role in the religious right fantasy where there will be only one religion, theirs, that gets one into heaven. Can you guess what happens to Jews if they don’t accept the unacceptable in this Armageddon fantasy? Lol. Not lol. How’s that for antisemitism?

  9. Always a fun read from the woke community of Martha’s Vineyard. They truly have blinders on and only see what they want to see. Dylan Fernandes keeps reminding us why he should not be reelected as most everything he comes out with is wrong. The fact is the Supreme Court speaks for the people of the country is exactly what it did and because you don’t like it does not mean it was wrong. The Supreme Court is not supposed to make laws it is supposed to interpret the constitution which is what it did. Back when this was passed the court was stacked with crazy leftists and a political agenda and got it wrong. Let the states decide and they will and you can still abort babies in Massachusetts.

    • You are wrong, Bob, and I don’t know if it is because you are so poorly informed, or if you are knowingly saying something utterly false.

      “The fact is the Supreme Court speaks for the people of the country is exactly what it did and because you don’t like it does not mean it was wrong.”~Bob Murphy
      This statement from you couldn’t be further from the truth.

      If you do not wish to spend 2 minutes reading the linked Reuters poll to inform yourself of the facts, here is a relevant passage of reality, something you don’t seem to be acquainted with:

      “The U.S. Supreme Court decision upending nearly a half century of legal protection for abortion rights is sharply at odds with public opinion in a country where a sizable majority of people support abortion rights. About 71% of Americans – including majorities of Democrats and Republicans – say decisions about terminating a pregnancy should be left to a woman and her doctor, rather than regulated by the government. But that support is not absolute: 26% of respondents polled said abortion should be legal in all cases while 10% said it should be illegal in all cases. More than half of the 4,409 respondents to the Reuters/Ipsos poll said that abortion should be legal in some cases but illegal in others.”

      If you can cite any reputable source that verifies your falsehood, please do. Otherwise your post is baloney and everyone who reads it will know it is baloney.

  10. It looks like the left suddenly knows what a woman is. Isnt it funny how anytime the party of love and tolerance loses, the country immediately braces for violence. Roe/Wade was decided by 7 white men and overturned by a black man and a woman.

    • The left has always known what a woman is– A political stunt by a misogynistic senator to reel in a few ignorant people with an ideological agenda seems to have worked Your comment confirms that. — So tell me andy– what is a woman ?
      every republican and evangelical christian that has tried to answer that question has failed.
      So step up, andy, and tell us the true definition of a woman.
      Be careful with your answer– if you actually have the courage to attempt to answer it.
      Which I doubt you do.
      And do you wonder why the counter braces for violence? Go to some other “news” source than right wing propaganda and you will see that left wing people have been peacefully protesting, and they have been violently attacked by right wing radicals.
      Just an example :
      it seems right wing nut cases who don’t like the constitutionally protected right of people they disagree with are the ones who are willing to kill over political beliefs.

      • Keller you want a definition of a woman. Here goes:
        A woman is a person who is alarmed and afraid when a man enters the public Ladies bathroom she is in.

        • andy– so if a woman is not in a public restroom she is not a woman?
          That’s even worse than Josh Hawley’s definition “Someone who can give birth to a child, a mother, is a woman,” Mr Hawley said, before adding “someone who has a uterus is a woman. It doesn’t seem that complicated to me.”
          The reporter then poked a hole in his logic by asking if a woman has had her uterus removed, a procedure that the CDC estimates 20 million people in the country have done, then would that disqualify them from being included in Mr Hawley’s definition?
          Mr Hawley responded to the question by asking another question: “Yeah. Well, I don’t know, would they?”

          So next question for you , andy — what is a man ?
          Here is a link to 4967 pictures of people that you think a woman should be afraid of in a public “ladies” restroom:

          and here are 1945 pictures of people women should have no problem being in a public ladies restroom.

          andy if you can’t define what a woman is, or for that matter, what a man is, you shouldn’t be throwing around sweeping generalizations and accusing a certain group of people of not being able to define what gender is.

          So let me give my definition;
          If a person believes they are a woman , walks like a woman, talks like a woman and looks like a woman they are one .
          Same thing for men.

          If you think my inclusion of the word “believes” is not a valid criteria, I’ll ask one last question here ;
          What is a Christian, A Muslim, A Buddhist, a Hindu, a Jew or a Pastafarian ?

          • Not sure one can believe they are one thing or another and so it is. A woman is defined as an adult female. By your logic I can believe that I am a certain age and therefore I’m 13 again. Clearly the science shows that I’m a fully developed adult male. Either you believe in science or you don’t. And if you don’t your free to disregard it but it doesn’t make things just go away.

          • Carl– perhaps I simplified it a bit too much, but I was addressing andy after all — look at his definition. HA!
            But clearly if you look at the pictures I linked to, there is something going on that is more than just belief.
            It starts with belief , but It is obvious that science can transcend (pun intended) the gender one was “assigned” at birth.
            100 years ago, you could believe you were whatever you wanted, but you were stuck. Now , with modern science you actually can change your gender. Again– refer to the photos. Technically, we could talk about x’s and y’s or who’s afraid of who, but in reality those people are the gender of their choice.
            There are some species that can change gender naturally.
            Humans need a little medical help.
            Some species can naturally fly– humans need some mechanical help.
            No conflict of science here.
            As far as age goes, science has not YET stopped or reversed the aging process.
            I would like to believe I am 30 years old.
            Too bad for me- for now, I am actually stuck at 70 and increasing in age. But let’s say science comes up with the technology to reverse the aging process, and 40 years from now I had the functioning body of a 30 year old.
            Would we say I was 110 , or 30 ?
            Technically, I would in fact be 110 , but biologically I would be 30.
            And that would cause social issues as well. I am sure that if 40 years from now I had the biological body of a 30 year old, someone would object to me competing in various sporting events as a supercentenarian.
            We live in strange times for certain….
            Thanks for your thoughtful comments.

          • Don,
            And this is why I really appreciate your comments. Excellent points. I was prepared with a retort of something along the lines of well if you believe age is something you can just feel then why not let 13 year olds drive, drink, vote and buys guns if they feel they are 21. But now I can’t. Lol. But maybe I’ll think of something to come back with.

          • Carl– and that’s why I appreciate your comments.
            A real debate acknowledges a good play, as does a good sports fan when the opposing team scores a good shot.
            Your comment above was spot on.
            Unfortunately, it seems that the divisiveness that has slithered its way into our national debate has blinded many of us into never giving credit where credit is due.
            But, you present an interesting hypothetical point.
            If science could control the aging process, some people will choose to be 30– some 13– some 50– whatever.
            As technology advances at exponential rates, we, as a society, and our governing bodies often fall behind on our abilities to regulate the consequences.
            I have no doubt you will think of something…

    • Actually Mr. Engeman, Roe v Wade was decided by 6 white justices (Burger, Douglas, Brennan, Stewart, Blackmun and Powell) and 1 black justice (Marshal).

      Five of the justices were appointed by Republican presidents (Burger, Blackmun and Powell by Nixon; Brennan and Stewart by Eisenhower) and two were appointed by Democratic presidents (Douglas by Roosevelt and Marshal by Johnson).

      It would be more accurate to say that Roe was decided by 5 Republicans and overruled by 5 Republicans (6 only if you insist on including the reluctant concurrence of Chief Justice Roberts).

      That speaks more about degraded transformation — Republican -> MAGA Party — then about anything else.

      • You are correct Mr Hughes. I wanted the irony to be 7 old men vs the over ruling by one black man and a woman. This is the day of identity politics and white supremacy talk.

  11. The overwhelming majority of US citizens wants Roe supported. The Supreme Court doing this is an affront to the will and rights of the American people. Period.

    • Not really, they just removed the court from being the arbiter and gave the power back to the people. If, as how say the majority of people want choice they will get it by showing up at the ballot box.

    • Matthews. The Supreme Court is under no obligation to follow the will of the people. Its sole purpose is to interpret the Constitution.

      • It’s hard to imagine that so many, so frightened of women making their own decisions, are this ignorant when they start spouting off about the SCOTUS, but they are.

        “Hamilton had written that through the practice of judicial review the Court ensured that THE WILL OF THE WHOLE PEOPLE, as EXPRESSED IN THE CONSTITUTION, WOULD BE SUPREME over the will of a legislature, whose statutes might express only the temporary will of part of the people.”

        • Jackie
          ”as expressed in the Constitution” is the key phrase. The SCOTUS represents the Constitution not the people of the USA. By the way I am not frightened of women. When my wife and I married I told her I would make all the MAJOR decisions and she could make all the MINOR decisions. Do you know, in 52 years we never had a MAJOR decision

          • andy–you tell us you have children. presumably with your wife of 52 years.
            I’m happy you “let” her make the minor decision about having children. Some people think having children is a major decision. Now if you would just afford other women the right and the respect to make that decision for themselves…

          • I’m sorry you’re unable to understand what a key phrase is and why, but not surprised, engelman. You said elsewhere that you’d agree to allow your wife of child bearing age to have an abortion if her life was in danger. Surely you meant to say that all women, not just your wife, whose life was in danger were she to go full term should be “allowed” to terminate the pregnancy. You do realize I hope that many of the rare late term abortions are for this exact reason, extreme danger to the life of the mother– or because the fetus would not be able to survive outside the womb. This means you favor late term abortions, engelman. Did you know that? Did you want to stand outside the obstetrician’s office as they break the news to the heartbroken parents-to-be and determine if the family has your approval to end the pregnancy? You make yourself and your religion look ridiculous the more you say a woman doesn’t have the constitutional right to decide what happens to her own body. The partner and the pregnant woman’s doctor are the only ones who have any business in the matter, besides the pregnant woman.

      • Engleman, the Supreme Court did just that back in the 70s. The conservative justices reversed the decision because they are religiously biased and are attacking a hard-won right. Their argument is flimsy and insufficient.

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