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Heads Up To the Men Who Said We Were Overreacting About the Threat to Roe v. Wade: The Internet Never Forgets

Woman holding sign that says, "Ugh, where do I even start?"

At various points leading up to and during Donald Trump’s presidency, a lot of people, especially women, expressed fear over the future of reproductive health access. And every time, there were other people—especially men and often men with high-profile careers journalism—eager to tell us we were overreacting.

Well, everyone who saw their concerns dismissed out of hand is once again back to let those dismissers know: We don’t forget.

“Contrary to what many commentators and Democrats are saying, Roe v. Wade is probably not ‘doomed,'” NBC News’ Danny Cevallos wrote in July of 2018, just days before Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. “The Supreme Court will be reluctant to take away a constitutional privacy right, even if that right was granted with dubious reasoning.”

That argument, like the tweet that went with it, has not aged well now that the Supreme Court has refused to overturn an abortion ban in Texas that is in direct opposition to Roe v. Wade.

Today, Cevallos tweeted that the majority opinion in this case was “wrong. Like, Dred Scott wrong. … They acknowledged the constitutional issues. They should have preserved the status quo ante.”

Of course they were wrong. What everyone was saying in 2018 was that it wouldn’t matter—Trump’s nominees were being chosen specifically to be wrong, to upend the status quo.

And then there’s CNN’s Brian Stelter, who quote-tweeted writer and activist Amy Siskind, condescendingly accusing her of “fear-mongering” when she said we were “a few steps from The Handmaids Tale.”

That was in late June of 2018 and Siskind was specifically referring to Trump’s immigration policies. But the Handmaids Tale comparisons were also frequently used when talking about Trump’s stance on abortion. There are some valid criticisms of the comparison (namely, that it erases the ways in which women of color have had their access to reproductive freedoms attacked for centuries) but Stelter’s accusations of “fear-mongering” are not among them.

Three years after Stelter posted his tweet, following the Texas ruling, he quietly deleted it. But it’s hard to be quiet when everyone’s yelling at you about how wrong you were.

For now, though, this equally condescending reply is still up:

I wrote this in May of 2019, when these tweets were brought up yet again:

When Republican politicians give up caring about doing things the “right way” in favor of more quickly stripping away the rights of women, immigrants, and any other marginalized group, that is a clear sign of a descent into authoritarianism. You can say that’s hyperbolic or an overreaction, but know that in a year’s time, people will be back to remind you of that statement, and who knows where we’ll be then.

My estimate of a year was off by a bit, which is fine. Unlike a lot of these white men in media, I can admit when I was wrong.

(image: Avivi Aharon /

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Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.