The US Supreme Court . (Photo: AP)
The potential US Supreme Court decision to do away with federal abortion rights, which is to be made within the next couple of months but revealed now in a leaked draft that has been confirmed as accurate by the chief justice, shows a cynical disregard for women’s rights and lives. It is no mere matter of curiosity that the highest judiciary of the land of the brave and free is contemplating getting rid of legislation that has been in place for close to 50 years and which gave women a sweeping freedom of choice.
The world’s oldest democracy seems ready to trample on individual rights when most of the free world is going the other way, including the Catholic majority countries like Ireland which eased its abortion laws when it came to light that the lives of people were in peril. The Roe versus Wade ruling of 1973, which enshrined the right to access abortion, for whatever reason and within a time-frame in which a woman’s life is not medically endangered, was a prominent landmark in US history. To overturn it now in the more modern era sounds ridiculously undemocratic.
To take away the right of the body of a woman to uphold the nebulous theory that the yet-to-be-born has an equal right to life flies in the face of logic. The issue has got so caught up in US domestic politics that the Republican states have been constantly at it in trying to abridge the federal rights, with Oklahoma governor signing a bill just this week banning any abortions after six weeks of pregnancy while Texas and Mississippi have severe restrictions in place.
The issue transcends religion even if, ironically, it comes at a time of a Catholic in the White House in Joe Biden who, however, is against the overruling of the Roe versus Wade judgment, arguing as he does that it could spell the beginning of curbs on other personal rights of people. The dangers of illegal abortions among millions, who may be affected if indeed the decision weights in as leaked, are too large to be ignored. The point is a woman’s right over her body may be taken away in the United States in 2022 and that says it all.