On Tuesday, Religion News Service reported that Black clergy all over the country are expecting a surge of voter action from African American communities in response to the Supreme Court overruling Roe v. Wade, as a new draft opinion revealed on Monday suggests the right-wing majority is preparing to do.
"Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker, social action commission director of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, said her historically Black denomination will continue its long involvement in getting voters to the polls. But now, if Roe v. Wade is likely to be overturned, she said there is also an urgency around personal messaging, to help people understand what it means for them and for where they live," reported Adelle M. Banks. "'Roe v. Wade made it possible for poor women and women of color to have access to services other women would just find because they have the means to travel to get the services,' she said. 'So, for us, it means activate the base so people don’t think I now have to go and get the coat hanger when I live in California.'"
The religious right has famously long used abortion as a motivator for congregants to back Republicans at the ballot box, and have done so ever since segregation was defeated. But, said the report, many liberal Black churchgoers feel strongly the other way.
The report also emphasized that a galvanizing factor could be President Joe Biden's push to codify abortion rights into law, under the Women's Health Protection Act.
"The Rev. W. Franklyn Richardson, chairman of the Conference of National Black Churches, said a push for such legislation could prompt the 'awakening' strongly needed in the African American community as the midterm elections approach," said the report. "'This could turn out to be a great motivator for people who are sitting by the side, saying it doesn’t matter what happens,' said Richardson, who also is chairman of the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network. 'I think it will mobilize people like nothing else. I’m expecting great mobilization of the African American community and in communities where people recognize the importance of giving a person a choice.'"
The Supreme Court has already confirmed the authenticity of the draft opinion by far-right Justice Samuel Alito, although says that the position of the court isn't final or official.