UNITED STATES: After a leaked Supreme Court draught opinion indicated the imminent end of nationally legal abortion, which has long been seen as fundamental freedom by tens of millions of Americans, US President Joe Biden encouraged voters to safeguard “fundamental” rights.
If the court upholds the draught opinion, it will invalidate the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which established abortion rights across the country.
Abortion regulations would be left to individual state legislatures immediately, with up to half of them predicted to approve bans or additional restrictions.
Many women fear that losing abortion access throughout large parts of the United States may force them to travel hundreds of miles for the procedure or give birth in horrific conditions. More than a thousand protestors on all sides of the contentious issue gathered outside the Supreme Court building in the heart of Washington on Tuesday.
Republicans have been pushing to overturn Roe for years. It was only a matter of time once former President Donald Trump chose three conservative justices to the Supreme Court, tilting the court’s political balance drastically to the right.
The publishing of the leaked judgment by the US news site Politico late Monday pushed the polarising topic to the forefront of the November congressional midterm elections, potentially creating a way for embattled Democrats to avert projected defeats.
Biden, whose Democrats are expected to lose their tenuous hold on Congress, delivered a rallying cry to the left, warning that abortion restrictions are merely the beginning.
“The right to choose for a woman, in my opinion, is important… and the fundamental justice and consistency of our legal system demand that it not be overturned,” Biden said.
“It will fall on voters to elect officials who back abortion rights,” he said. Vowing to work to pass legislation in Congress that codifies Roe v. Wade — a goal impossible to achieve unless far more Democrats win seats.
Later, speaking to reporters, Biden went even further, calling the draught opinion “radical” and warning of a “fundamental transformation in American jurisprudence” that might put gay marriage’s future and “how you raise your child” in jeopardy.
Thousands of demonstrators gathered outside a federal courthouse in Manhattan in New York, screaming, “Abortion is a human right, fight fight fight.”
Roe v. Wade
The Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade that abortion access is a constitutional right. Planned Parenthood v. Casey, a following 1992 case, affirmed a woman’s right to an abortion until the fetus is viable outside the womb, which is usually about 22 to 24 weeks of pregnancy.
Most developed countries permit abortions on demand up to a certain gestational age, usually 12 weeks.
Because of Roe v. Wade, the United States is one of just a few countries that allows abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy without restrictions – while many others do so for particular reasons.
Roe v. Wade challenges was expected to be decided by the Supreme Court in June.
The Republican National Committee stated that abortion decisions should be left to state legislatures.
“The far left wants unelected judges to impose a radical, one-size-fits-all abortion policy on all Americans, leaving them without a say,” it claimed.
Oklahoma’s governor commemorated the day by signing a law prohibiting abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, with no exceptions for situations of rape or incest, similar to a Texas measure passed last year. In court, the laws are being challenged.
According to Politico, the draught Supreme Court judgement was prepared by Justice Samuel Alito and has been circulating since February within the court, which is now governed 6-3 by conservatives.
It calls the Roe v. Wade decision “egregiously wrong from the start.”
“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” Alito writes in the document, labeled the “Opinion of the Court.”
“It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
The Guttmacher Institute, which backs abortion rights, has said 26 states are “certain or likely” to ban abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
Also Read: U.S. Federal Judge Issues Temporary Block on Texas’ Abortion Ban