What I Published in December

A collection of my freelance work in one place, as a treat.

What I Published in December
Photo by Lukas Stoermer / Unsplash

I no longer have a staff job for...reasons, so I'm freelancing for multiple outlets. Each month I'll share what I wrote and for whom, and there will be a silly, calendar-appropriate animal photo every time.

Here's the tour for December 2023:

Republicans Have a New Plan to Save the Supreme Court Abortion Pill Case
This is desperately cynical.

Ok this is from November but it's my newsletter, I make the rules. For Slate, I wrote about about three Republican Attorneys General are trying to intervene in the abortion pill case by claiming they have standing to sue. It's a strange move to make an entire year after the case was filed, and it's possible the AGs did it because they hope to either 1) strengthen the case so SCOTUS doesn't dismiss it as the nonsense it is or 2) delay the high court hearing and ruling on the suit until after the 2024 election.

Texas woman files emergency lawsuit to terminate her non-viable pregnancy
Kate Cox, a 31-year-old unable to get abortion due to multiple state bans, is first woman to ask court to allow procedure since Roe

For The Guardian, I wrote about how Kate Cox sued the state of Texas for its abortion laws preventing her from ending her non-viable pregnancy. I also wrote for the site about the hearing in which a judge issued a restraining order saying she could get the procedure, but I think you all know what happened after that.

A Crucial Year Ahead for Abortion Access - The Meteor
Republicans know their plan to ban abortion in every state is toxic with voters, so they’re trying to deceive people from their end goal. It’s why we’ve seen conservative hand-wringing over the label “pro-life,” attempts to deflect with transphobia, and, yes, even backing away from the word “ban” in favor of “limit” or “minimum standard.”

I looked back at the year in abortion and what to expect in 2024 for The Meteor. The big one is that we could see more than 10 abortion ballot measures in November, but if a Republican wins the White House, the president could wipe out any state protections and ban abortion nationwide—and they could do it without Congress. We're also going to see politicians weaponize transphobia to get people to vote against abortion access because they know abortion is a losing issue for them. This will be the topic of a future newsletter, so stay tuned! (Editor's note, 1/5/24: I did it, it's here.)

Abortion Access Will, Once Again, Be Decided by the Supreme Court
Experts think SCOTUS will rule against a challenge to mifepristone—which could trick voters into believing they “protected abortion” in a crucial election year.

And Jezebel relaunched this month under new ownership! The staff will be small and I'll be contributing fairly regularly as a freelancer. I wrote about what it means that the Supreme Court agreed to hear the abortion pill case—the same one mentioned in the first link in this newsletter. Basically, if they didn't take it, restrictions on mifepristone ordered by a lower court would have gone into effect. But now everyone needs to prepare themselves for the media coverage come the summer.

Most people expect the court to dismiss the case on standing grounds (again, see the Slate piece) and if SCOTUS does that, it will likely garner headlines saying they "protected abortion access" when all they really did was say "this lawsuit is too nuts even for us." That framing could give people a false sense of security about the 2024 election when, in fact, a national abortion ban is on the ballot (see: The Meteor piece). Access to mifepristone is unchanged for now and that's good, but this could all get messy.

Kentucky Woman Challenges State’s Abortion Ban for Very Valid Reason That She Doesn’t Want to Be Pregnant
“This is my decision—not the government’s or any other person’s,” Jane Doe said in a statement on Friday.

I wrote about a pregnant woman suing another state over its abortion bans—not because she had a devastating fetal diagnosis, but because she simply doesn't want to be pregnant and shouldn't have to leave the state. The Kentucky Supreme Court said advocates needed a pregnant patient to move forward with their challenge of the ban under the state constitution, and they found someone, Jane Doe. But unfortunately for the lawsuit, Doe learned shortly after the suit was filed that her embryo no longer had cardiac activity. The ACLU withdrew the suit and is looking for other plaintiffs.

It’s a Close Race for Biggest Asshole on the Supreme Court
When it comes to terribleness, the conservative justices really just keep outdoing each other.

The New York Times had a huge piece on the machinations of how the Supreme Court took the Dobbs case and overturned Roe. If you've been meaning to read that, well I summarized it for you, and the summary is that while people know Alito was a gigantic asshole during the process, he certainly had competition.

Nikki Haley’s Sweater Collection Truly Boggles My Mind
Haley looks like your kooky aunt, if that aunt also spews hateful garbage about trans people and lies constantly about abortion.

And finally, I leave you with my deep dive into the very strange knitwear choices of a certain former South Carolina Governor.

Happy New Year to one and all.