People everywhere should be watching the supreme court right now with grave concern. A leaked majority opinion draft piece written by judge Samuel Alito reveals that the supreme court is itching to overturn the influential, vital, necessary court ruling that is Roe V. Wade.
Roe V. Wade is a court ruling that grants woman the right to abortion in all states. It allows states to set their own restrictions in the second trimester and ban it completely in the third, but still, access to abortion is a woman’s legal right.
At least, as of right now it still is a legal right. The decision to overturn Roe V. Wade will not be official until it is published, likely within the next two months. There will still be debate within the court as the three democratic-appointed justices write their dissents. There is currently a 6-3 conservative majority within the Supreme Court-- meaning the justices who want to protect the right to abortion are in the minority.
There are some vital questions that have been born from this leaked draft-- who leaked the draft and why? Does Samuel Alito’s reasoning hold up in the face of millions of women who feel disrespected and overlooked? Will the court really be able to overturn this ruling?
Both Republicans and Democrats are pointing fingers right now. Republicans suggest that Democrats leaked the opinion draft to try and create public outcry (if releasing the draft of a very serious and real proposition creates huge public outrage, is it really even a good proposition?), while Democrats argue that Republicans released the draft to try and harden the opinions of the justices; having their opinion made public, the justices may be less open to changing.
Nobody is stepping up to claim the leaked draft, but the news site Politico was the first to get their hands on it and write a story.
Samuel Alito is a conservative justice who’s been serving in the Supreme court since 2006. He is an intelligent man who wrote a well-reasoned draft, but people who possess different core values than him will likely see the draft as outrageous and insulting.
One of his principal arguments in the draft is that “The right to abortion is not deeply rooted in American tradition.”
A lot of things aren't “deeply rooted in American tradition”. LGBTQ+ rights and women’s suffrage are not that old, yet nowadays they’re unquestionable rights. Trying to get rid of either one would be seen as outrageously prejudiced and immoral. Staying true to “American tradition” as Alito apparently sees it might eliminate both of those things.
LGBTQ rights and abortion share a common historical factor-- they’ve both been around since forever, all around the world, but “American tradition” villainized both of them.
Abortion is a medical procedure. A very common and sought out medical procedure. It is a violation of bodily autonomy to take that away from women.
Alito also argues that abortion is less necessary since demand for adoption has increased drastically. Has Alito ever been pregnant? It’s a silly question to be sure, but it’s also a reasonable one-- he doesn’t and can’t know what the experience is like. Pregnancy is not just a nine month vacation for women; forcing them to carry a baby to full term against their will is archaic. Pregnancy can be a traumatic experience for multiple reasons, both during and after the fact. Saying that women can simply adopt out their babies as a way to avoid abortion does not eliminate the fact that they have to endure pregnancy.
He claims that his draft is not meant to subjugate women, that they “are not without political or electoral power”. He may be suggesting that if women don’t want abortions to be restricted, then they should just vote anti-choice politicians out of office. What about places with deep-rooted anti-abortion culture? What happens to the pro-choice women who live there, where they are the minority?
He also suggests that Roe V. Wade and abortion as a whole are rooted in eugenics, saying that early supporters of abortion wanted to mitigate the African American population, and citing the statistic that dispraportionate amount of POC women seeking out abortions. Nowadays, nobody is forcing women to get abortions. Women who seek out abortions have their own personal reasoning for making that choice, and it does not matter what ethnicity they may be.
The court is going to debate over this for the next two months, and people should be watching with rapt attention. Will women really end up losing their right to abortion in this historic reconsideration of a court case ruling?