It is not a matter of belief or political position, but of public health. Although many people try to frame abortion along moral and/or religious lines, the procedure is exclusively about the safety of the woman – and in the United States, they are more vulnerable now that the Supreme Court has ruled that it is not their right to terminate a pregnancy.
“We are on the cusp of what could be the biggest public health crisis we’ve seen in decades. The reality is that abortion is an integral part of reproductive health care, and is often necessary to preserve a person’s health or life. And this decision (by the Supreme Court) puts people’s lives and health at risk,” says attorney Julie Rikelman, who takes on the legal part of the Center for Reproductive Rights.
The repeal of the Roe v Wade understanding, which guaranteed women access to abortion, was already expected. Months ago, an internal Supreme Court document was leaked; it contained a draft of the reversal of the rule.
But even before the confidential file was made public, this move was anticipated by activists. Some states, such as Texas, have changed state laws to make it increasingly difficult to terminate a pregnancy. Texas Governor Greg Abbott, for example, instituted the “heartbeat law,” which prohibits any abortive procedure once a sign of cardiovascular motion is identified in the fetus – which happens within a few weeks of pregnancy.
When this news broke, many experts were quick to say that these measures would trigger a veritable migratory flow, with women traveling to states like California, where the governor has promised to make abortion an affordable procedure for all.
“We advocate that all people have the freedom to travel wherever they want to get the medical care they need, but I think it’s important for everyone to know that there will be many attempts to block such travel,” adds Julie.
This “setback” in American history, as many are calling it, is part of a political movement catalyzed by Donald Trump. “There has been a campaign for decades to change the direction of the Supreme Court to the far right, but Trump has accelerated the process,” explains Nancy Northup.
In fact, the Republican, former head of the White House, had the chance to nominate a third of the judges of the current composition of the highest instance of the Judiciary in the country, composed of 9 members. With that, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett won a seat on the Supreme Court – all, by the way, voted to overturn the law.
According to Northup, the biggest concern now is to understand how to protect minorities, especially women, who are more often victims of social inequalities. “We know that half of the people seeking abortion live in poverty. And today’s decision will rest more with them and others who already face economic and systemic barriers to health care, including communities of color, youth, LGBTQ plus communities, immigrants and people in rural areas”.
To make matters worse, Justice Clarence Thomas said, after the decision to reverse Roe v Wade, that the Supreme Court may revisit other understandings. Among them are the rule that guarantees access to female contraceptives and even same-sex marriage.
Ready to fight, the Center for Reproduced Rights promises to take its complaints to the legal authorities, but the organization does not disclose its strategy. At any time, however, the group must act.
While they don’t put their words into practice, the Center for Reproductive Rights regrets the country’s course and says it’s “shameful” that the US is criminalizing the voluntary termination of pregnancy.. “More than 60 countries have legalized abortion laws in the last 30 years , since the court ruled Planned Parenthood v. Casey,” says Rikelman.
For Stanford attorney David Walbert, however, all is not lost. to the report, he said: “What we live now will not live forever. Progress cannot be stopped.”
Editing: Thales Schmidt