What happens now?
I’m Isaac Saul, and this is Tangle: an independent, ad-free, subscriber-supported politics newsletter that summarizes the best arguments from across the political spectrum on the news of the day — then “my take.”
Today's read: Long.
We're covering the Roe v. Wade ruling. Just like last time, today's coverage is lengthier than usual, and we'll be skipping our reader question to give the main story more space.
- President Biden signed a landmark gun rights bill into law that will expand the background check system for gun buyers under the age of 21, create funding for mental health, provide monetary incentives for states to pass red flag laws, and crack down on straw purchases. It also includes serious or recent dating partners in bans on domestic abusers buying firearms. The bill was backed by 15 Republican senators and 14 Republican House members. (The bill)
- Russian missiles hit an apartment block and kindergarten in Kyiv, in the country's first bombing of the capital in weeks. Ukraine also retreated from a major city in the Luhansk region, handing over near total control to Russia. (The strike)
- The Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was killed by Israeli soldiers on May 11, according to an investigation by a United Nations human rights body. (The investigation)
- Two people were killed and 21 more injured in a mass shooting in Oslo, Norway. The attack is being investigated as an act of terrorism against LGTBQ people, and a 42-year-old named Zaniar Matapour has been charged with the crime. It's the first mass shooting in Norway in over a decade. (The shooting)
- The annual G7 summit kicked off in Germany yesterday. The U.S., United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan are all in attendance. (The summit)
- BREAKING: The Supreme Court has ruled that a high school football coach had a constitutional right to pray on the field after his team's games. We covered the case previously here.
Our 'Quick Hits' section is created in partnership with Ground News, a website and app that rates the bias of news coverage and news outlets.
Editor's note: Today's main topic is perhaps the most contentious issue in modern American politics. We are attempting to combine coverage of a Supreme Court opinion, 50 years of abortion debate, and the legal, moral, and political arguments around the issue into one, sub-5,000 word newsletter.
As we wrote when the draft of this decision leaked, that task is nearly impossible. Our goal is to give you a wide range of views on this topic and then my own honest assessment. You do not have to agree with all or any of it to keep reading. But, especially on a day like today, I encourage you to read the newsletter in full. Of course, the left-right dichotomy is not sufficient, as many on the left are pro-life and many on the right are pro-choice. But there is enough broad consistency to address the lines of debate this way today.
I invite reader feedback and criticism of our coverage and am likely to publish some of that feedback (as we’ve done previously) in a standalone newsletter if there is enough of it. All I ask is that your feedback is respectful, thoughtful, and takes the extraordinary volatility of the subject we're discussing into account. If you deliver it with care, you'll improve the odds it is published in a forthcoming newsletter. Please be sure to read our previous coverage of this issue as well.
Isaac & the Tangle team
Roe v. Wade. On Friday, the Supreme Court ended the constitutional right to an abortion, overruling the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling and leaving the question of abortion's legality to the states. The court ruled in favor of the state of Mississippi in Dobbs v. Jackson, a case that examined the state's law banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, before fetal viability. That standard was developed in the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey ruling.
In November of 2021, we published a breakdown of the history of abortion rights in the U.S. If you haven't read that piece, I suggest doing so now. Here is a brief summary from that story of what the 1973 Roe and the 1992 Casey rulings did:
As with many rights, the court also made it clear that the right to abortion was not unlimited. The court attempted to address the states' interest in protecting the mother's health and "protecting the potentiality of human life," the two issues it viewed as being at odds with each other.
In perhaps the most controversial element of its ruling, the court resolved this tension by creating the trimester framework, declaring the first trimester to be a period of time when a woman's right to abortion was unlimited, a decision solely between her and her doctor. During the second trimester, up until fetal viability, the court argued that the state can create reasonable regulations on the procedure but cannot ban it. But once fetal viability is reached, the time when a fetus can survive outside the mother's womb, the state can protect its interest in potential life and regulate (or even ban) the procedure.
In 1992, the court heard Planned Parenthood vs. Casey, and reaffirmed that states cannot ban abortion before fetal viability, a time period pegged at about 24 weeks of pregnancy. But Casey also did away with the trimester framework, and instead replaced it with an "undue-burden” test, a ruling that opened the door for states to regulate abortion at all stages of pregnancy as long as those regulations did not create an "undue burden" or major obstacle to exercising the right to get a pre-viability abortion.
On Friday, the court reversed itself.
“The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the majority opinion. “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives."
In deciding that Roe was "egregiously wrong," the court took the step of overturning long held precedent, something it has done rarely in its history. The court voted 6-3 to side with Mississippi, but 5-4 to overrule Roe v. Wade.
Chief Justice John Roberts, who broke from the other conservatives on the court, argued that it should have eliminated the viability standard and sided with Mississippi, but left Roe untouched. He described the ruling as "a serious jolt to the legal system—regardless of how you view those cases. A narrower decision rejecting the misguided viability line would be markedly less unsettling, and nothing more is needed to decide this case.”
When abortion was ruled a constitutional right in 1973, the court cited the 14th amendment's guarantee that states can't deprive individuals of life and liberty without due process of law. The right to abortion was born out of the constitutional right to privacy, which was established when the Supreme Court ruled that states could not restrict contraceptives. Other rights related to privacy that the Court has affirmed include same-sex marriage and interracial marriage. Justice Clarence Thomas urged his colleagues to immediately re-evaluate rulings on gay marriage and contraceptives, though the court’s opinion in the case and the other conservative justices on the court have made it clear that those rulings should not be impacted.
President Biden called out Thomas on his comments, warning that this ruling had dangerous implications for other rights Americans take for granted. The liberal justices who dissented echoed that concern.
“According to the majority, no liberty interest is present— because (and only because) the law offered no protection to the woman’s choice in the 19th century,” those justices wrote. “But here is the rub. The law also did not then (and would not for ages) protect a wealth of other things.” That includes the rights “to marry across racial lines,” “to not be sterilized without consent,” “to contraceptive use,” and to “same-sex intimacy and marriage.”
While rare, it's hardly the first time the court has overruled prior decisions steeped in precedent. Most famously, the Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education to end racial segregation in public schools, which it had previously said was legal under the “separate but equal” doctrine.
According to Guttmacher Institute, 26 states are now “certain or likely” to ban abortion. 13 of those states have "trigger laws" ready for the end of Roe v. Wade, which will snap into place over the next few weeks to severely limit or ban abortion in all but a few cases (mostly if the mother's life is in danger). 11 states will ban abortion with no exceptions for rape or incest. Meanwhile, at least 16 states and Washington D.C. have laws that automatically keep abortion legal even without Roe.
In early May, a draft of this decision was leaked to the press. The investigation into that leak is ongoing, but the draft opinion was nearly identical to the one published on Friday. If you are a new reader to Tangle, you can read our coverage of that leak here.
You can also find our write-up on the history of abortion law here.
Below, we'll take a look at some reactions from the right and left, then my take.
What the right is saying.
- The right is celebrating the ruling, saying the Supreme Court has reversed an egregious wrong.
- Many say the court's legitimacy is more intact after this ruling.
- Others argue the pro-life movement's real work is just beginning.
"At last," National Review's editors wrote, "a stain erased."
"It has taken 49 years and five months, but the Supreme Court has finally reversed the monstrous injustice it worked in 1973," they said. "In Roe v. Wade, seven justices cast aside the laws of every state protecting unborn children from the violence of abortion, even though nothing in the text, original understanding, or history of the Constitution authorized them to do so. It was an act of 'raw judicial power,' as a Democratic justice wrote in dissent, and even law professors who approved the abortion license Roe created assailed the decision for lacking any constitutional base. Decades of work, the efforts of tens of millions of Americans, and persistence through many disappointments were necessary to bring us to this day of correction.
"Overturning Roe does not guarantee justice for the unborn: Pro-lifers know the work must continue. What the Court has done is give pro-lifers the chance to make their case and prevail in democratic fora. Our fundamental law will no longer effectively treat unborn children as categorically excluded from the most basic protection that law can provide. It is a mighty step forward for the rule of law, self-government, and justice," the editors said. "The pro-life goal has been to make sure that unborn children are protected in law and welcomed in life. Our tactics in advancing that goal will have to adapt to the happy new circumstances. In legislatures in strongly pro-life areas, that should mean new laws that prohibit doctors from committing elective abortions and carry penalties sufficient to make that protection effective. In other places, it should mean as much protection as the political balance of forces will allow — and a commitment to do the work of persuasion needed to tilt that balance further toward justice. Everywhere, it should mean private and public efforts to support women bringing life into the world."
In The Wall Street Journal, Jennifer Mascott and David Rivkin Jr. said the court's legitimacy has been reclaimed.
"The court’s most vociferous critics either don’t understand its proper role or, more likely, reject it," they wrote. "In fact, Dobbs imposes no policy. It simply states that abortion is not among those individual rights protected by the federal Constitution. The result is that this contentious issue has been returned to the state legislatures, which had primary responsibility for setting abortion policy until the court imposed its own views on the country in 1973. It was at that time, and not today, that the justices overstepped their boundaries and ensured that the court would become the focus of political contention for half a century... Policy decisions properly belong to the elected branches of federal and state government... the federal judiciary is a countermajoritarian institution. The court does its most important work when it renders decisions that are unpopular but legally correct.
"It bears emphasizing that Dobbs’s detractors lob objections that don’t reflect the true nature of the opinion," they said. "They claim the justices have shown a disregard for stare decisis, the doctrine of respecting precedent. In fact, the decision relies on the precedent in Washington v. Glucksberg (1997), which concluded that there is no constitutional grounding for any claimed right that is neither enumerated in the Constitution nor deeply rooted in the nation’s history and tradition. Dobbs also marks a path toward restoring the constitutionally prescribed diffusion of powers among governmental branches, undergirded by a system of checks and balances. This uniquely American structure of government is the primary safeguard of individual liberty."
David French said the pro-life movement's work is just beginning.
"The history of abortion in the United States is contentious and complicated, but a single fact should shape much of the debate in the months and years to come: Abortion was more common when it was mostly illegal," French said. "According to data from the pro-abortion-rights Guttmacher Institute, the abortion rate was at about 16 abortions per 1,000 women [per year] when Roe was decided in 1973, soared to 29.3 abortions per 1,000 women by the end of the Carter administration in 1981, and then began a long, slow, and steady decline to an all-time low of 13.5 abortions per 1,000 women in 2017. This decrease doesn’t mean that pro-life Americans should cease working to provide legal protections for unborn life... But the historical record does tell us that ending abortion is a different matter from banning abortion, and we cannot end abortion until we learn why women seek abortions and how our nation can address the concerns that lead them to make that choice.
"If banning abortion doesn’t end abortion, then what will? The answer is deceptively simple in concept, yet extraordinarily difficult in practice," he wrote. "Our nation must ease the fears and concerns—which are legitimate—of women who are already predisposed to view abortion as a last resort, not a first choice. Doing so is a matter of both better policy and personal conduct. Better policy is embodied by Mitt Romney’s proposed Family Security Act, which would provide most American families with monthly financial assistance even when a child is still in the womb. Parents of young children would receive $350 a month per child, and parents of older children would receive $250 a month per child... The Romney plan isn’t the answer to child poverty and family financial insecurity, but it is an answer, and its concrete financial support for mothers and children would be a tangible statement of our nation’s moral commitment to young families."
What the left is saying.
- The left criticizes the decision, arguing that the court has reversed a precedent despite nothing changing except a few justices.
- Some point out that women, especially those who are poor and women of color, will suffer most.
- Others worry about the possibility of what this means for LGBTQ rights and other reproductive rights.
The New York Times editorial board called it an "insult to women and the judicial system."
"The central logic of the Dobbs ruling is superficially straightforward... Roe and Casey must be overruled, the ruling says, because 'the Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision,' including the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of due process. While that provision has been held to guarantee certain rights that are not mentioned explicitly in the Constitution, any such right must be 'deeply rooted in this nation’s history and tradition.' By the majority’s reasoning, the right to terminate a pregnancy is not 'deeply rooted' in the history and tradition of the United States — a country whose Constitution was written by a small band of wealthy white men, many of whom owned slaves and most, if not all, of whom considered women to be second-class citizens without any say in politics," the editors said.
"The three dissenters in the Dobbs case — Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan — called out the majority’s dishonesty, noting that its exceedingly narrow definition of 'deeply rooted' rights poses a threat to far more than reproductive freedom," the editorial board said. "The majority’s denial of this is impossible to believe, the dissenters wrote, saying: 'Either the majority does not really believe in its own reasoning. Or if it does, all rights that have no history stretching back to the mid-19th century are insecure.' In other words, the court is not going to stop at abortion. If you think that’s hyperbole, consider Justice Clarence Thomas’s concurring opinion in Dobbs, in which he called for the court to reconsider other constitutional rights that Americans have enjoyed, in some cases, for decades — including the right to use birth control, the right to marry the person of their choosing and the right of consenting adults to do as they please in the privacy of their bedrooms without being arrested and charged with crimes."
In The New Yorker, Jia Tolentino said we're going back to "something worse" than what existed before Roe.
"The theological concept of fetal personhood—the idea that, from the moment of conception, an embryo or fetus is a full human being, deserving of equal (or, more accurately, superior) rights—is a foundational doctrine of the anti-abortion movement," she wrote. "The legal ramifications of this idea—including the possible classification of I.V.F., IUDs, and the morning-after pill as instruments of murder—are unhinged, and much harsher than what even the average anti-abortion American is currently willing to embrace. Nonetheless, the anti-abortion movement is now openly pushing for fetal personhood to become the foundation of U.S. abortion law.
"If a fetus is a person, then a legal framework can be invented to require someone who has one living inside her to do everything in her power to protect it, including—as happened to Savita Halappanavar, in Ireland, which operated under a fetal-personhood doctrine until 2018, and to Izabela Sajbor, in Poland, where all abortion is effectively illegal—to die," Tolentino said. "No other such obligation exists anywhere in our society, which grants cops the freedom to stand by as children are murdered behind an unlocked door. In Poland, pregnant women with cancer have been routinely denied chemotherapy because of clinicians’ fears of harming the fetus. Fetal-personhood laws have passed in Georgia and Alabama, and they are no longer likely to be found unconstitutional. Such laws justify a full-scale criminalization of pregnancy, whereby women can be arrested, detained, and otherwise placed under state intervention for taking actions perceived to be potentially harmful to a fetus."
Michele Goodwin argued that reproductive justice is enshrined in the Constitution.
"Ending the forced sexual and reproductive servitude of Black girls and women was a critical part of the passage of the 13th and 14th Amendments," she wrote. "The overturning of Roe v. Wade reveals the Supreme Court’s neglectful reading of the amendments that abolished slavery and guaranteed all people equal protection under the law. It means the erasure of Black women from the Constitution. Mandated, forced or compulsory pregnancy contravene enumerated rights in the Constitution, namely the 13th Amendment’s prohibition against involuntary servitude and protection of bodily autonomy, as well as the 14th Amendment’s defense of privacy and freedom.
"This Supreme Court demonstrates a selective and opportunistic interpretation of the Constitution and legal history, which ignores the intent of the 13th and 14th Amendments, especially as related to Black women’s bodily autonomy, liberty and privacy which extended beyond freeing them from labor in cotton fields to shielding them from rape and forced reproduction," she said. "The horrors inflicted on Black women during slavery, especially sexual violations and forced pregnancies, have been all but wiped from cultural and legal memory. Ultimately, this failure disserves all women. Overturning the right to abortion reveals the court’s indefensible disregard for the lives of women, girls and people capable of pregnancy, given the possible side effects and consequences of pregnancy, including gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, hemorrhaging, gestational hypertension, ectopic pregnancy and death. State-mandated pregnancy will exacerbate what are already alarming health and dignity harms, especially in states with horrific records of maternal mortality and morbidity."
Just last week, I wrote about the ways I typically view these Supreme Court rulings: How does the ruling apply the law (i.e., does it appear "correct")? What are the practical implications of the ruling? What unintended consequences might stem from the ruling?
When Politico published its bombshell leak, I wrote that the logic of Roe and Casey were both tenuous. Legal scholars on the left have long warned that each could fall in a decision like this, not because women shouldn't have a right to abortion but because the way the court had established that right was through one of the weakest possible mechanisms. Even Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg famously argued that women had the right to abortion, but that right was granted through the equal protection clause, not through some combination of rights to privacy or liberty. From a purely legal standpoint, it is a fair criticism to describe Roe as a contested and even wrongheaded ruling. You can, like me, hold that this is possible on the one hand while believing the Constitution does protect the right to abortion on the other.
Yet the implications of the ruling and the unintended consequences are what I'm most worried about now.
As Jia Tolentino so pointedly described, there is no indication that our legal or health care system is prepared to navigate what is about to happen. In staunchly pro-life states, women were already being investigated (and imprisoned) for miscarriages before the Dobbs ruling, because abortion and miscarriages are often clinically indistinguishable. Laws like the one in Texas encourage citizens to report abortions like car thefts in hopes of targeting abortion providers. But there are reasons to believe women themselves will be targeted next: Louisiana has already advanced a bill to target abortion patients before withdrawing it, a sign the movement may be more split on this issue than some claim. A popular Christian publication has suggested mandatory psychiatric custody for women who get abortions. Some states, almost surely, are going to go down these paths.
Some already have. Others don't have to.
In Georgia and Alabama, for instance, fetal personhood laws already exist and are now likely to flourish. Some adherents to fetal personhood equate the use of IUDs and the morning after pill to murder. Advocates of fetal personhood in pro-life states will only need to convince a few legislators in a few states to advance anti-abortion laws far more draconian than the many that will snap into place in the next few weeks, including those with no exceptions for rape or incest, for women to fall swiftly under the thumb of the government. These laws will (and already do) allow states to detain, monitor and criminalize any pregnant women taking actions they perceive as being dangerous to the fetus.
Again: This is not theoretical fear-mongering. It is already happening. The National Advocates for Pregnant Women have documented over 1,800 cases from 1973 to 2020 in which, for example, a pregnant woman who is a drug addict has been charged with child abuse, distribution to a minor, homicide, or murder. Removing the right to an abortion will make these cases far more common for those living in certain states. As the pro-life movement continues to advance laws without the limitations of Roe or Casey, we are — in simple terms — going to see more “criminalization” of pregnancies. I’m not sure how many Americans want this outcome, but just in talking to anti-abortion friends, family and colleagues, I suspect the number is exceedingly low. There is a large contingent of pro-life Americans who have no interest in prosecuting and controlling women, but there are also plenty who do have that interest — and many are within reach of or already holding power.
And as I wrote eight weeks ago, it will be the poor who suffer the most. Wealthy folks living in states that ban abortion will, for now, be able to order abortion pills online (though that is another legal battle already underway) or cross state lines to seek out abortion care. Poor women won't. And in most of the states where abortion access has been limited and criminalized most severely, the services for pregnant women are actually the worst. Mississippi, the state that brought this case to the Supreme Court, ranks dead last in preterm births, neonatal mortality and overall child well-being.
This is one of the great failures of the pro-life movement, as many pro-life advocates readily admit, and we are about to see it in all its worst forms. Anti-abortion laws might successfully reduce the total number of abortions, at least the documented ones, but they will increase the number of unsafe abortions, and there will now be many more mothers in crisis pregnancies living in states that are ill-equipped to care for them. If you believe all abortion is murder, that may be a trade-off worth making. But if you are familiar with the stories, it is hard not to be distressed.
There isn't a whole lot to say here that I haven't already said. The typical abortion patient is already a mother, poor, unmarried, in her late 20s and in the first six weeks of pregnancy. The polling on abortion is messy, but we can say with confidence that most Americans want these women to have a choice early on in pregnancy. What existed, thanks to Roe and Casey — where first trimester abortions were protected and democratic levers decided what happened next — was mostly in line with what the vast majority of Americans (and the rest of the Western world) wanted. We all intuitively understand the argument for sovereignty over one’s body, and even if you concede that a fetus and a woman have equal personhood (which I don’t), there is still a good argument to maintain the right to abortion.
Still, the state of affairs we had was never workable. I've seen a lot of commentary from the left about the "unelected justices" removing a constitutional right Americans want, or how white men still dominate the lives of women. I find this commentary wanting. It was seven old white men who established the right to abortion in 1973; it was a newly appointed female justice and the court's lone African American justice who helped strike it down 50 years later. It’s another failure of identity politics to go that route. However you feel about this iteration of the Supreme Court, it is simply not the court's job to be democratic or representative of the people. On the contrary, the court is supposed to be a check on majority power — that's what it was in 1973 when it adopted Roe and preserved the right to abortion. Many believe that's what it is now.
The hard truth for the pro-choice movement is that they simply failed on nearly every front: To move the ball legislatively, to pass a constitutional amendment, to organize at the judicial level, to elect a president who would appoint liberal justices in 2016, and to advocate for the pro-choice side in a way that would appeal to broad sectors of the public. They had opportunities to do all of those things, and they didn't. Despite the many warnings about this day coming, they never had the commitment or the organization of the pro-life movement. The bizarre result is that many conservatives are celebrating the state's ability to intervene in the most intimate and private of issues, while the left clamors for a world where the government would just stay the hell out of it.
Some have asked, "What's next?" Yes, Clarence Thomas has called on his colleagues to look at past cases that established the rights to gay marriage and contraceptives under the same rationale used to establish Roe. Yes, that should worry anyone who cares about individual liberty — left, right or center. No, I do not think this is likely — even in the slightest — for the same reason we don't live in Bernie Sanders' world just because Democrats have control of Congress. Thomas is the furthest right conservative on the court and he appears to be on an island here. Roberts didn't even want to strike down Roe; Kavanaugh said explicitly that this ruling should not cast doubt on those precedents. Even Thomas himself conceded there are other constitutional defenses for those rights.
Still, if you had asked me five years ago if this court would ever overturn Roe v. Wade, I think I ultimately would have thought you were fear-mongering. The precedent, or stare decisis in SCOTUS parlance, was just too strong in this case. Strong enough that Justice Kavanaugh assured Republicans like Susan Collins he would never touch it, and yet here we are. So I suppose there are plenty of reasons to doubt my confidence, including the most obvious, which is that the court may not look as it does now in another 10 years.
Mostly, today I'm just feeling anxious about what's next. It truly feels to me like the pro-life movement is the dog that caught the car, and there will not just be tens of thousands of mothers in deep-red states needing support that doesn't yet exist but also dozens of the most radical legislators working to pass extreme laws across the country that are out of step even with mainstream pro-lifers. Our already dysfunctional health care system will have to adapt at a pace it seems incapable of, and the "jolt" to the legal system, as Justice John Roberts put it, is likely to be just as significant as you might imagine overturning 50 years of precedent would be.
All the while, protests are erupting across the country and we seem further and further away from the kind of grace or common ground necessary to move forward in a constructive way. I certainly know many of my readers are celebrating this week, but I'm finding it hard to feel anything but apprehension.
Remember: "My take" is my take. You are welcome to disagree. If you have thoughts, you can reply to this email and write in or leave a comment on our article if you're a subscriber.
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A story that matters.
A new study suggests vaccines prevented nearly 20 million Covid-19 deaths worldwide in the year between December 2020 and December 2021. The study, which was published in The Lancet, is one of the first major accounts of the successes (and failures) of the global vaccination push. Using mathematical models, the researchers behind the study argue that vaccines cut the potential worldwide death toll in half. "Nearly 80% of deaths were prevented primarily due to vaccines. Indirect protection through collective vaccination helped avoid 4.3 million deaths," Axios reported. While the researchers say more lives could have been saved, they also argue that the study shows the substantial impact vaccines had on keeping the world safer from Covid-19. You can read about the study here.
- 61%. The percentage of Americans who say abortion should be legal all or most of the time, according to Pew's most recent survey.
- 37%. The percentage of Americans who say abortion should be illegal all or most of the time, according to Pew's most recent survey.
- 14.4. The number of abortions per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44 in 2020, according to Guttmacher.
- 2,908. The total number of abortion providers nationwide in 1982.
- 1,587. The total number of abortion providers nationwide today.
- Three. The number of remaining abortion clinics in Louisiana, all of which closed shortly after the Dobbs v. Jackson ruling was handed down.
Have a nice day.
Every year, millions of tons of plastic waste ends up in the ocean, killing plants and animals and polluting the sea. But companies around the world are trying to develop devices to address ocean plastic, and one Dutch company, RanMarine, is having a lot of success. They have deployed several aquatic drones — over five feet wide — that scour waterways and capture rubbish before it ever enters the ocean, bringing it back to land. Each drone, dubbed "WasteSharks," can hold 160 liters of trash. Collecting the trash close to shore is far cheaper and easier than capturing it at sea, and WasteSharks along with several other similar products have collected tens of thousands of tons of waste already. Euro News has the story.
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