Flouting Women’s Rights…
The Supreme Court of the US has stripped women of their rights, which they have been enjoying for the past five decades. On June 24, 2022, the Apex Court ended the Right to Abortion in a seismic ruling that shreds 50 years of constitutional protections on one of the most divisive and bitterly fought issues in American political life. The conservative-dominated Supreme Court overturned the verdict of landmark 1973 Roe versus Wade case that enshrined a woman’s right to an abortion, stating that individual States could now permit or restrict the procedure themselves. “The Constitution does not confer a Right to Abortion; Roe and Casey are overruled; and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives,” said the court. As the verdict was leaked a few weeks ago, intense debates and protests started across the country even before June 24.
It may be noted that the Judiciary had declared abortion legal in 1973 while delivering verdict in the Roe versus Wade case. This time, six judges voted in favour of rejecting the Constitutional Right to Abortion, while three opposed the move. Earlier, the Supreme Court received a case, challenging a Mississippi law that would restrict abortion to 15 weeks. However, several justices indicated that they were prepared to go further during the hearing of the case in December 2021. The Supreme Court delivered this verdict while dealing with that case. The ruling is expected to ban abortions in more than half of the US States. The States may also impose various restrictions on abortion.
Thirteen of 50 US States have already started taking initiatives to ban abortion. They were awaiting the verdict of the Supreme Court. Now, it has become easier for them to make the move after the Apex Court’s verdict. President Joe Biden expressed deep concern over the verdict, saying: “The court laid out State laws criminalising abortion that go back to the 1800s… the court literally taking America back 150 years. It’s a sad day for the country, but it doesn’t mean the fight is over. Now with Roe gone, let’s be very clear, the health and life of women across this nation are now at risk. The court has done what it’s never done before… expressly taking away a Constitution Right that is so fundamental to so many Americans.” Former President Barack Obama, too, called the ruling an attack on Fundamental Rights.
However, the ruling is a huge victory for Right-wing and religious conservatives. Many of those, who had protested against the legalisation of abortion way back in 1973, expressed satisfaction. Former President Donald Trump welcomed the verdict, stressing: “God made the decision. This is following the Constitution, and giving rights back when they should have been given long ago. Today’s decision, which is the biggest WIN for LIFE in a generation… (was) only made possible because I delivered everything as promised, including nominating and getting three highly respected and strong Constitutionalists confirmed to the US Supreme Court. It was my great honour to do so!“
Meanwhile, experts are of the opinion that the verdict could not stop abortion at all. They believe that women would be more inclined to go to countries where abortion is legal. Taking drugs is a popular practice of abortion in the US, as they usually have abortions using the two-pill method. According to the data, 54% of women have abortions using this method. The US Food and Drug Administration approved this drug in 2020. Abortion Rights Groups have claimed that abortion restrictions would severely impact poor women, many of whom are Black or Hispanic.
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