It’s been coming, slow but sure-a draft of a decision of the US Supreme court, written by Justice Samuel Alito, calls for the repeal of the Roe v. Wade decision of 1973, prohibiting states from preventing a woman from having an abortion. (https://www.politico.com/news/2022/05/02/supreme-court-abortion-draft-opinion-00029473)
Some of the highlights of Alito’s draft state that “At the time of Roe, 30 states prohibited abortion at all stages. Is the years prior to that decision, about a third of the states have liberalized their laws, but Roe abruptly ended that political process. It imposed the same highly restrictive regime on the entire Nation, and it effectively struck down the abortion laws of every single state.” Alito mentions how the case Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, from, 1993, whereby “the Court decided on stare decisis, which “required adherence to what was called Roe’s ‘central holding’—that a State may not constitutionally protect fetal life before ‘viability’—even if that holding was wrong.” Thus, the Casey decision reinforced Roe v. Wade.
So, it did the right thing, it eliminated laws that would restricted women’s rights to control their own sexuality; the same way Brown v. Board of Education effectively ended legal segregation of schools by race, and was a milestone in advancing civil rights of African-Americans.
(There was a mention of the fear of “judicial overreach,” another conservative boogie, of “Legislative from the bench.” Since when does a branch of government try to restrict its own power? Is it when it could be used to protect traditionally marginalized people, or to protect an oligarchy?)
. Alito goes on, “We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled. The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision, including the one on which the defender of Roe and Casey now chiefly rely—the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.” The Due Process Clause seeks to guarantee rights not mentioned in the Constitution, but any such right “must be deeply rooted in the Nation’s history and tradition,” and “implicit in the concept of ordered liberty.”
But, says Alito, “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” and “far from bringing a national settlement in the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.” Therefore, “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
“Elected representatives” means the state legislatures, dominated by trump-loving, proto-fascist Republicans-not just “conservative” in the Edmund Burke sense, but people contemptuous of human and civil rights-who, out of a twisted interpretation of the Christian concept of the Bible, have shown themselves ready to take from women the right to control their own bodies. A “right” means no one can interfere with how you conduct yourself, as long as you don’t interfere with others’ lives.
Alito goes on in page 24-25 of the draft: “The inescapable conclusion is that a right to abortion is not deeply rooted in the nation’s history and traditions. On the contrary, an unbroken tradition of prohibiting abortion on pain of criminal punishment persisted from the earliest days of the common law until 1973.” Legal professionals often use precedent to make their cases in court, I know that; but the invocation of “tradition” often means just “We’ve always done things like this.” At the start of this country, there was a long tradition of chattel slavery, the use of human beings as forced labor, treating them no better than livestock; there was also the tradition of abusing people of color, women, and LGBT+s based on some sort of religious teaching.
Alito cited the work of Sir Matthew Hale, a 17th-century English legal scholar, in his opposition to Roe v. Wade. But Hale is believed to be the source of much legal discrimination against women. (https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2022/05/samuel-alito-roe-v-wade-abortion-draft) For Hale, it was legally acceptable for husbands to rape and physically abuse their wives: in his work Pleas Of The Crown, Hale writes, “For the husband cannot be guilty of a rape committed by himself upon his lawful wife for by their mutual matrimonial consent and contract the wife hath given up herself in this kind unto her husband which she cannot retract.” (https://digitalcommons.law.ggu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=&httpsredir=1&article=1248&context=ggulrev) Hale sentenced two women to death on the charge of witchcraft, and thus laid the basis of the Salem Witch Trials in Massachusetts in 1692-1683. (https://www.jstor.org/stable/1409846) (https://scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2009&context=jclc)
This is the mentality of those opposing abortion, and they’re in centers of power in federal and state government. Theologians and scientists have debated forever about when life begins, and they still haven’t decided; but politicians are taking upon themselves the privilege of deciding that, from women who have to carry the baby to full term, no matter the physical stress upon the woman, and no matter the economic stress upon a family having a child they cannot maintain. we must organize ourselves, educate ourselves and each other on the issue, and get out the vote this year. And PLEASE don’t be deterred by the doom and gloom predictions of a Republican victory-the campaigns haven’t started yet! We CAN and MUST fight this violation of women’s rights and lives.
Stay safe, stay strong, and stay together! Slava Ukraini! America will be free! Bye!