According to an initial draft majority opinion revealed by the Politico website, the US Supreme Court has voted to strike down the landmark Roe v. Wade decision. The leaked document, written by Justice Samuel Alito, is a rejection of the 1973 decision which guaranteed federal constitutional protections of abortion rights.
A major women's right passed in 1973
This decision, which is still in the embryonic stage, is of great concern to authorities as this could lead to a drastic loss of their power, according to Politico.
If this final decision is indeed made by the Supreme Court, the United States would experience a major and historic regression in its jurisdiction over the right of women to make choices about their own bodies.
An association specialising in reproductive and sexual health care in the United States, Planned Parenthood, which provides abortion services, tweeted and nonetheless sought to reassure:
Let's be clear: This is a draft opinion. It’s outrageous, it’s unprecedented, but it is not final. Abortion is your right — and it is STILL LEGAL.
Alito wrote in the draft revealed on Monday:
The inescapable conclusion is that a right to abortion is not deeply rooted in the Nation’s history and traditions.
There is thus little value in the idea of emancipation and progress, let alone the evolution of morals and medicine.
A law rewritten by Donald Trump…
That this right has been up for debate lately is because of former US President Donald Trump. The Supreme Court itself has been formed by Trump. In the space of five years, he has brought in several conservative judges, six out of nine in total. They now hold the majority of seats.
This conservative breath in the highest court in the country supported the recent law applied in Texas, reducing the duration of legal abortion to six weeks, as opposed to two trimesters as it was previously. The judges in question are therefore likely to have argued in favour of 'nibbling' away at this law, or even the abolition of Roe v. Wade.
What does this mean for you?
As reported by The New York Times, without Roe, abortion will not necessarily become illegal everywhere in the US. Instead, individual states would decide whether and when abortions will be legal. Many states will continue to allow them, and some have even started making provisions to assist women who live in states that are likely to restrict it.
Currently, abortion is still legal in every state. It's likely to become illegal in about half of the states, however, some estimations differ.
Some women will seek to have an abortion via alternative means, such as travelling to a state where abortion is legal or ordering pills online. This means that the rate of abortion would likely decline as women may have to travel long distances, and not all women have the means to do so.
Some countries prohibit abortion or allow it only if a woman’s life is in danger. Without Roe, there is the risk that certain states might align with these countries.
It's important to remember that the leaked document is a draft, not a final opinion. It could be a month or so until the Supreme Court officially rules in the case, and that decision could be different from the draft that is currently circulating.
This article has been translated from Oh!MyMag FR.