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The Supreme Court’s War on Women

Abortion Justice March on the Supreme Court in DC (photo: Gayatri Malhotra via Unsplash)

Just as I was coming to the end of the last column a couple of weeks ago, the news came through that Justice Alito of the Supreme Court had drafted a note which would effectively overturn Roe v. Wade and end federal protections for a woman’s right to choose.

The note, it should be noted, was leaked. That has been where the attention of the Republicans has been since it went public: “OH MY GOD – WHO LEAKED IT!” Rather than the far more important matter of what the note contains.

Alito’s note tries to make the point that Roe must be overturned, it was a mistake from the start and that, because there is no mention of abortion in the US Constitution, then it should be for the States to decide. Of course, there is no mention of a lot of things covered by law in the Constitution but Alito covers his nasty ass by saying that some things are “deep rooted in American culture and abortion is not.”

He’s clearly repulsive but it comes as no surprise to learn that the majority of the majority-right wing Supreme Court agrees with him. Republicans have been playing the long game with the Supreme Court and they’ve been playing it disturbingly well.

“What we do know is that if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade it will be an unjustified, unprecedented stripping away of a guaranteed right that has been in place for nearly five decades,” Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement that was published on CNN. “It would represent the most damaging setback to the rights of women in the history of our country.”

Photo via reproductiverights.org

CNN’s Supreme Court Reporter Ariane de Vogue wrote that, “Many – especially liberals like Justice Elena Kagan – warn of the dangers of overturning precedent, a move that shakes the stability of the law. At oral arguments the justices jousted over that point with conservative pointing to examples when the court moved to wipe away a prior opinion.”

But Alito batters away that point like an elephant swishing his tail over a fly. “Stare Decisis,” he said, does not “compel unending adherence to Roe’s abuse of judicial authority.”

Ultimately, Alito wants to pass the buck which is literally the opposite of what Supreme Court Judges should be trying to do. He’s doing it, of course, because he knows full well that many traditionally red states have trigger laws that will make abortion illegal the moment Roe v. Wade is overturned. 

It will be one of the most consequential decisions in the history of this country, make no mistake. More people will die because of unsafe medical procedures. Pre-Roe America tells us that. This is a war on women. There are questions to be answered about how state laws will work, too. For example, some states are threatening legal action against women who get an abortion in a state, for example California, where the procedure remains legal. Fears over whether or not that’s possible are very real.

California Governor Gavin Newsom has attempted to calm those fears by declaring California a sanctuary. 

“We’ll be a sanctuary,” Newsom said. “We are looking at ways to support that inevitability and looking at ways to expand our protections.”

It’s all a total shitshow and women are genuinely scared. Because let’s be honest, this has never been about “pro-life.” If that were the case, those same people would be anti-death penalty, and there would be no more school shootings because guns would be far more regulated. When children are born, these people would be far more open to helping the mothers rather than screaming “SOCIALISM,” COMMUNISM,” and “WELFARE STATE” in their faces.

It’s not about “pro-life,” it’s about “anti-women.” 

Naturally, Planned Parenthood is on the frontlines. They sent out a press release pointing out that there was a full-page ad in the New York Times that saw “160 young artists and influencers advocating for reproductive freedom, including abortion rights. They oppose the Supreme Court’s plan to overturn Roe v. Wade and end our national constitutional right to an abortion, laid out in a recent leaked draft opinion.”

BillieEilish (photo: crommelincklars via Wikicommons)

“As part of Planned Parenthood’s #BansOffOurBodies campaign,” the statement reads, “the artists signed on to the Bans Off Our Bodies ad, which appears in the May 13 edition of The New York Times. The ad denounces the Supreme Court’s plan to eliminate the constitutional right to an abortion and is supported by nearly 160 young artists and influencers, including Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus, Billie Eilish, Kendall Jenner, Selena Gomez, Olivia Rodrigo, Megan Thee Stallion, Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello, Demi Lovato, Halsey, Hailey Bieber, Camila Mendes, Lili Reinhart, Madelaine Petsch, Karlie Kloss, Ariana DeBose, Madelyn Cline, Hailee Steinfeld, Dove Cameron, FINNEAS, Hayley Kiyoko, Madison Beer, Phoebe Bridgers, Joey King, Peyton List, Lauren Jauregui, Jenna Ortega, Storm Reid, Tinashe, Meghan Trainor, Tommy Dorfman, Melanie Martinez, Liza Koshy, and Maia Mitchell. These young artists are encouraging their fans to join them in speaking out in support of the right to access sexual and reproductive health care, including abortion.”

Alexis McGill Johnson, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, released a statement saying, “Should the Supreme Court take away the constitutional right to safe, legal abortion, young people stand to lose the most. So many of us — who grew up with the understanding that Roe was settled law — could have never imagined that our own children would have fewer rights and less freedom over their own bodies and futures. What we see in young people from all walks of life is that they aren’t backing down — not today, not ever. Like the artists who signed on to this ad, their resolve to keep bans off their bodies is a source of hope during a dark time, and we are determined to keep fighting alongside them, for them.”

The last word goes to Billie Eilish who, in that same letter, said, “Every person deserves the right to control their body, their life, and their future. We cannot live freely and move fully in the world when our basic right to access the reproductive health care we need is under attack.”

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