Abortion in America: Assault on Women | Opinion


The religious right in the United States, integrated into the Republican Party, is for the first time in a position to achieve its great political goal of the last half century, reversing the right to abortion. The free interruption of pregnancy was legalized by a ruling of the Supreme Court in 1973, known in legal jargon as Roe versus Wade, which considered that a woman has the right to abort without restrictions before the fetus is viable, a limit set at 23 weeks of gestation. Since then, the Supreme Court, with all kinds of opinions among its magistrates, has reaffirmed itself in this precedent to reject dozens of restrictive legislative attempts by republican states. Until this year. On December 1, the magistrates heard the arguments of a case in Mississippi, which wants to lower the limit to 15 weeks. The magistrates’ questions are usually indicative of their opinion, and in this case, the development of the session raises the fear that the precedent of half a century will be severely damaged, if not totally reversed. Taking the case itself into consideration already goes against all precedent. The ruling on abortion is expected towards the end of the current session, next June.

A decision in favor of Mississippi would leave the limits to the right to abortion in the hands of the States, which in at least a score of them would mean the serious restriction or the total elimination of this possibility. If you finally turn off the precedent of Roe versus WadeFrom that moment on, millions of women in states with a conservative majority will immediately see their right to abortion restricted by laws that have already been drafted and approved, waiting to go into effect. It is not only a legal outrage against women; it is also a nonsense incompatible with the radical interpretation of the freedom of the individual that underpins life in the United States, for better and for worse.

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It is important to understand how you got here. This situation is possible because of the nine “life” magistrates of the Supreme Court, six have conservative profiles (appointed by Republican presidents) and three are Democratic profiles. It is the highest Supreme in decades. Although this has not translated so far into a conservative roll, the reality is that the three progressives have very difficult to condition the majority. The current composition of the Supreme Court does not reflect at all the social majority of the country, neither expressed in polls (only 20% want to prohibit abortion) nor expressed at the polls. There are reasons of historical conjuncture that explain this imbalance, but it is mainly a consequence of the machinations of the Republican leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, who illegitimately blocked the renewal of a vacant position that President Barack Obama had to appoint. The position was filled by President Donald Trump, who in 2016 won against the odds thanks to the votes of a religious right that despised him and with the promise of incorporating anti-abortion judges. Through an unelected institution, the North American moralist right has achieved a power that the polls never gave it to launch an assault on civil rights, and it has started with women’s rights.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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