Opinion: Abortion - A Rift In America


Nearly one-quarter of all American women will have an abortion before the age of 45, yet this reproductive right is currently under attack. While some on the right celebrate the landmark 1973 ruling that made abortion access a constitutional right, others fear for the future of civil liberties in America as a result of a long-dormant supreme court decision. It's difficult to fathom the extent to which this will affect future generations of American women.

So, if Roe v. Wade is overturned, abortion will be difficult to obtain and unsafe in some American states. Women left alone will resort to deeply troublingly dangerous abortion methods when they don't have other options, and we might see more injuries and deaths from women attempting to end their pregnancies in states where abortion access is denied. It's not uncommon for the Supreme Court to overrule itself, but it's never happened that a constitutional right has simply been erased. Constitutional rights have been modified, expanded, and tweaked through additional opinions of the court, but pulling the rug out from under American women in this way is something that the court has never done. Another concern is that this could be the start of a revolution in how the constitution is interpreted. The constitution is a brief document; it is one of the world's shortest and lacks provisions for things like the right to an education or health care, as well as privacy, contraception, and abortion.

There's just a lot of uncertainty about how far a conservative majority might go in striking down other rights that are unpopular among conservatives and viewed with suspicion. The concern is not just about the future of civil liberties but about the future of the court and Americans' confidence in it and their ability to view it as a tribunal that truly provides a fair procedure for adjudicating cases that affect so many people’s lives. America's highest court, "the ostensible defender of human rights," has taken it upon itself to nullify a woman's fundamental right. The court has already determined that Roe was clearly wrong from the start; in other words, abortion rights were wrong from the start. At least 22 states in the United States have decided that women can be forced to have children. This is twenty first century America, and this case has revealed the country's fault lines. This has never happened in modern America before and should not be surprising because never before in modern history have protectors of human rights turned against those very rights. The United States Supreme Court is guilty of this, so someone from within the system is most likely breeding judicial secrecy and protest. 22 of 50 American states are prepared to do so; 13 American states have already passed laws or what are known as trigger laws that will ensure that abortion is prohibited the moment the Roe versus Wade ruling is overturned; in other words, no time will be wasted in trampling on women's rights.

The question is, how is this possible in a first-world country? Only three countries in the world have tightened abortion laws since 1994: Poland, El Salvador, and Nicaragua; and now the United States has joined that list as the self-proclaimed torch bearer of human rights. The liberal lecturer and the most outspoken critic of human rights violations is joining the very small group of countries that have sacrificed the interests of their women for political reasons. If they have the political will, they can reinstate the filibuster, pass an abortion law, and make abortion non-negotiable. Failure to do so would be a disservice to women worldwide and a stain on the United States of America.

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With a keen eye for detail and an unrelenting pursuit of truth, my objective is to deliver accurate and impactful reporting.

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