Friday, December 9

The US Supreme Court puts abortion rights on the brink



The conservative crusade against abortion In the United States, it is closer than ever in the last five decades to achieving its objective and a right recognized as constitutional in the country since the ruling is seen on the brink of the abyss. Roe v. Wade in 1973 and ratified in 1992 by Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

The probability of a change in legislation and in the lives of millions of women Americans has been evidenced this Wednesday, when the Supreme court, solid majority conservative after the installation of three judges appointed by Donald Trump, has held a 90-minute hearing on arguments about a restrictive Mississippi law.

This rule, approved in 2018 but never entered into force due to legal challenges and lower court decisions, prohibits practically all interruptions of the pregnancy after 15 weeks. It is long before the close to 24 weeks of gestation during which abortion was covered up to now in the United States, since it was considered that until that moment the fetus it is not “viable”, as it is called when it is able to maintain life outside the uterus.

A hit almost guaranteed

In this Wednesday’s session, which has been followed with protests and demonstrations At the gates of the Supreme Court in Washington who have finished with 33 detainees, the six conservative judges of the nine that make up the court have given their questions and comments clear indications that they will support the Mississippi law. Some have been willing to go further and break with precedents and put a complete end to Roe. And although questions and possibilities of how far they will go have been left open, the blow to abortion rights is almost taken for granted.

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The decision is expected in principle at the end of June or the beginning of July of next year, but it could also arrive before summer. He promises to make abortion a central issue for women elections legislative 2022. And it also predicts an earthquake not only political but also social far beyond Mississippi. opening the perspective of a country where almost half of the states also restrict the right, or completely eliminate it if Roe were to be annulled.

“The real-world effects of nullifying Roe and Casey would be severe and rapid,” he warned at the hearing. Elizabeth Prelogar, lawyer who has represented the Administration. Almost half the states in the country have laws in place that after a potential annulment of Roe in the Supreme Court would prohibit or restrict abortions after 15 weeks, including 12 states that would do so almost automatically. According to an analysis of Planned ParenthoodThat could leave nearly 36 million women, half of those of reproductive age in those states, without access to abortion. And that normative drive in states governed by the republicans It contrasts with the majority social opinion in the US, where according to polls, 60% of the population supports guaranteeing the right to abortion.

Politicization of the Supreme

This warranty is not protected or regulated by any federal law and until now the states have been governing abortion limited by the precedents set by the Supreme Court, and this Wednesday at least four of the conservative judges (Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh y Amy Coney Barrett) have given hints of being willing to overturn those precedents.

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Those magistrates would need to make him add to Neil Gorsuch y John Roberts, President of the High Court, who have seemed to leave the door open to maintain the constitutional protection of Roe but allow the states that, as the law of Mississippi does, shorten the period in which a woman can have an abortion.

The three progressive justices, for their part, have shown strong opposition to the Mississippi law and changes in the precedents. And they have also sounded the alarm about the “irreparable damage” that could be caused to the institution of the Supreme Court with a decision that they consider politicized.

Stephen Breyer, for example, has remarked that “it is particularly important to show that what we do when annulling a case is based on principles and not on social pressure” and has predicted that people “will be ready to say that we are simply political” . Elena Kagan has gone along the same lines, who has recommended not to act in a way that causes people to think that the Supreme Court is “a political institution that goes from one place to another depending on which part of the citizenry shouts the loudest or for changes in the members of the court ”. AND Sonia Sotomayor has raised: “Will this institution survive the stench that this creates in the public perception that the Constitution and your readings are just political acts? I don’t see how that would be possible ”, she answered herself.

That stink that Sotomayor talks about is inevitable Even before the decision adopted by the Supreme Court and the indices of confidence in the independence of the Court have already been falling for some time.

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