Quite simply, where you are born in America will dictate how many rights you have and whether you are considered a citizen with equal protection under the law. This creates discomfiting analogies to the antebellum South and the era of Jim Crow. While that may seem extreme, it’s astonishing to consider that more than 170 years after the Fugitive Slave Act declared that people who’d fled North to escape slavery could be tracked down and returned to bondage, red-state legislatures are thinking about ways to prevent women from traveling across state borders to secure abortions.
A legal system in which geography and not the Constitution determines rights will hasten the dissolution of America. Travel to red states for pregnant women now becomes more fraught. If an emergency arose, such as a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy, would doctors be restricted from providing life-saving treatment? Will companies (particularly those owned by foreign investors) be more reluctant to locate their operations in states where female employees will have limited reproductive rights? How many pro-choice blue-state parents will decide against sending their daughters to universities in red-state America? Parents of trans or LGBTQ children are already asking these questions.
It’s one thing for states to have different cultural values. That’s not new. What is different is that there are now different rights available to those in red and blue America.