Concern mounts in Washington D.C. after a leaked U.S. Supreme Court draft opinion seeks to potentially overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.
Should the decision be overturned 26 different states are likely to restrict abortion, impacting the individual rights of women across the nation.
According to reports from The Guttmacher Institute, a pro-choice research organization based in New York, as of last year, there are 22 states that already have anti-abortion laws that would kick in as soon as the decision is made.
These include Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
A woman’s rights should not fall on the decision of the judicial system. It is unjust that the legal system would look to overturn a landmark case, which helped set the precedent against criminal abortion laws and established that the Constitution protects a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose whether or not to have an abortion without excessive government restriction.
The result of this could mean that pregnant women will be forced to travel long distances to obtain services in states where the procedure will still be legal. And what will become of Planned Parenthood and other such organizations dedicated to a woman’s right to choose?
The fact that the opinion was leaked to the public marks the first time in modern history that the courts have disclosed an opinion while the case is still pending.
While this could be a good sign that the courts will likely reverse its final decision, it has certainly sparked a nationwide debate on the legality of abortion.
“Abortion presents a profound moral issue on which American hold sharply conflicting views,” Justice Alito says in the draft dated February 2022.
“Some believe fervently that a human person comes into being at conception and that abortion ends an innocent life. Others feel just as strongly that any regulation of abortion invades a woman’s right to control her own body and prevents women from achieving full equality. Still others in a third group think that abortion should be allowed under some but not all circumstances and those with this group hold a variety of views about the particular restrictions that should be imposed.”
The decision goes on to state that at the time of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision of Roe v. Wade in 1973, “30 states still prohibited abortion at all stages. In the years prior to that decision about a third of the states had liberated their laws, but Roe abruptly ended that political process.”
Despite the large conservative contingent expressing their views on a woman’s right to choose, it remains a fact that it is still their body and life to account for.
If a woman is not mentally or financially prepared to take care of a child, how can the state enforce its will and force them into parenthood?
New York will certainly not bend to these new regulations, but other states already have plans preparred should the case be overturned.
Why are so many people concerned with conception and birth when it’s hardly their decisions to make?
The opinion of men should be completely removed from the equation as the right to life is not one that is theirs to give nor should it be one that they should govern over.
Until the day that the courts realize that is the solely the decision of the birth-giver, whether or not they choose to have an abortion, the fight for gender equality must continue.