The right to abortion in the United States is decided in the Supreme Court | Society


A man demonstrates this Monday in front of the US Supreme Court to defend the right to abortion.
A man demonstrates this Monday in front of the US Supreme Court to defend the right to abortion.ROBERTO SCHMIDT (AFP)

The right to abortion in the United States is in jeopardy almost 50 years after being guaranteed under the Constitution. After the appointment by Donald Trump of three conservative judges to the Supreme Court, that right falters after the repeated attacks against him in lower courts and what may be the final one as of this Wednesday, the date on which the high court begins to study the matter. The sentence will still be made to wait: until the end of the judicial course, during the last weeks of June, or before, if the magistrates so decide.

Self-proclaimed defenders of life have been waiting for this moment for decades. Six conservative judges in front of three progressives (only three women in the institution and one of them a devout Catholic and Orthodox interpreter of the Constitution) hear this Wednesday the allegations that may prevent or cause the famous sentence that in 1973 to become dead paper. guaranteed the right to abort in the US The future of abortion access across the country may ultimately hinge on the outcome of a lawsuit against the only abortion clinic in the state of Mississippi.

With Dobbs contra Jackson Women’s Health Organization – the name of the Mississippi clinic – the most important battle for reproductive freedom in generations is being fought. It will also serve to test whether Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Barrett – the conservative judges appointed by Trump – will fulfill the former president’s promise to overturn the sentence that guarantees abortion. Known as Roe versus Wade, the failure faced a Jane Roe, not her real name, Norma McCorvey, v. Dallas District Attorney Henry Wade, who enforced a Texas law prohibiting abortion except to save a woman’s life. During his 2016 election campaign, the Republican attracted votes from the religious right by promising to appoint conservative judges to the Supreme Court willing to repeal the law that made women’s rights history in the 1970s.

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Without Roe against Wade, States that so wish will have absolute freedom to prohibit all abortions from conception. “If it is revoked Roe, almost half of the United States would strictly limit abortion and perhaps ban it altogether, “said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, an organization that supports the right to choose.

The case that the Supreme Court must resolve now is a law of 2018, when the then Republican Governor Phil Bryant restricted the right to abortion by establishing a limit of 15 weeks of gestation, which conflicts with the constitutional right that guarantees the precedent. of 1973 to be able to interrupt the pregnancy until the moment in which there is viability for the fetus, that is, “it is potentially capable of living outside the maternal womb, without artificial help” (which happens around week 24). However, in November 2018, a federal judge struck down the law and later another court ruled in favor of upholding the repeal. He finally ended up in the Supreme Court.

Nearly 60% of Americans believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases, a number that has been relatively stable in recent years, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted this spring. But there are huge differences between Republicans and Democrats on the issue. The figures also confirm that almost one in four Americans have undergone the legal termination of a pregnancy.

80% of Democrats and Democrat-minded independents say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, but only 35% of Republicans think so, according to the Pew poll. And the partisan divide has widened: the figures were 72% and 39%, respectively, in 2016. Religious convictions also play an important role: 77% of white evangelicals believe that abortion should be illegal in all or In most cases.

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In 2021, 90 state laws restricting abortion have been enacted, more than in any year since the case was decided. Roe against Wade, according to calculations by the Guttmacher Institute, an international organization that advocates for reproductive freedom.

Also before the highest judicial authority in the nation is the Texas law known as the law of the heartbeat, in reference to the supposed impulse of the fetus, and that prohibits abortion from the sixth week, when most women still do not know that they are pregnant. Texas law was designed to bypass the potential blockade of federal courts by delegating responsibility for enforcing the law to the ordinary citizen and not to state authorities, who are often the defendants in lawsuits seeking to curb unconstitutional regulations. The Supreme Court heard arguments about Texas law on October 31.

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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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