Wednesday, September 27

The Supreme Court of the United States reverses the historic ruling that guaranteed the right to abortion

Nearly half a century after the US Supreme Court ruling that enshrined abortion as a right, the high court controlled by a majority of conservative justices has reversed the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade decision. Although it does not make abortion illegal in the US, this decision means that each state will be free to regulate it as they wish.

“It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the elected representatives of the people,” says the sentence signed by Judge Samuel Alito with the support of Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett – the last three appointed by Donald Trump–. “[La sentencia] Roe was shockingly incorrect and contrary to the Constitution from the day it was decided,” he adds. Last May, the leak of the draft sentence posted by politician It already showed that there was a majority of five judges in favor of revoking the historic sentence.

“With pain – for this Court, but more so, for the many millions of American women who today have lost a fundamental constitutional protection – we dissent,” three other judges of the court who have remained in the minority point out in a contrary opinion.

The Supreme Court ruling is a response to an appeal filed by the state of Mississippi after several courts rejected laws that, in practice, meant the almost total ban on abortion. The first law in question prohibits abortion after 15 weeks of gestation with the sole exception of serious deformities of the fetus or medical emergency. The other law raises a veto to the interruption of pregnancy from the moment the heartbeat is detected, which can occur between the first six and 12 weeks.

In the US, there is no law that allows abortion at the federal level: what exists are two fundamental decisions of the Supreme Court, Roe v. Wade (1973) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), which have prohibited vetoing abortion throughout the country until fetus viability, that is, when it can live outside the uterus, which, according to the Supreme Court, is between 23 and 24 weeks. Norma McCorvey, known by the pseudonym Jane Roe, sued her district attorney, Henry Wade, because she wanted an abortion but was not allowed by Texas law. The court agreed with him, but Texas appealed to the Supreme Court, which considered that abortion was a right.

Human rights organizations have denounced that the reversal of the sentence is a setback of decades, since it leaves in the hands of the states whether or not to allow abortions, and they fear that unsafe abortions and maternal mortality will increase, and disproportionately affect women with fewer resources.

In May, Nancy Northup, CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, called the ruling’s eventual overturning “an unprecedented and unwarranted stripping of a guaranteed right” that has been in place for nearly five decades, as well as “the most damaging setback for women’s rights in US history.