May 27, 2022
If the federal right to abortion is erased by the U.S. Supreme Court in a few weeks as expected, the legal spotlight will shift immediately to state courts, where experts say judges in some conservative states could surprise everyone and uphold the right to abortion.
“Hundreds of attorneys for abortion advocates across the country are no doubt poised to go into state courts to block enforcement of multiple state abortion laws the minute the decision comes down,” said Clarke Forsythe, senior counsel at Americans United for Life, which opposes abortion. “There will be attempts in all but a few states to create the equivalent of Roe v. Wade.”
by DIANA KASDAN and RISA KAUFMAN
Despite the Supreme Court’s expected ruling, a correct understanding of the Constitution guarantees the legal right to reproductive autonomy: reclaiming the full promise of the 14th Amendment.
The Supreme Court will soon issue its ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. A decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, which the leaked opinion indicates a majority of the Court is prepared to do, would be egregiously wrong and have devastating impact nationwide. But whether the Court explicitly dismantles Roe or stops short of rejecting constitutional protection for abortion, we must continue fighting to secure the full promise of the 14th Amendment. Under a correct understanding of its multiple and interdependent guarantees, a future with stronger constitutional protection for reproductive autonomy is both necessary and possible.
BY KATE KELLY, Los Angeles Times
MAY 23, 2022
When Roe vs. Wade was decided in 1973, it was rooted in rights that flow from privacy — not equality. As the country has now seen in the leaked Supreme Court draft ruling, that right to privacy is about to be demolished.
Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. bemoans in the draft opinion that Roe “was remarkably loose in its treatment of the constitutional text,” basing the right to abortion on the right to privacy when neither is “mentioned” in the Constitution. While we can’t change the composition of the court poised to overturn Roe, we can change the text they are charged with interpreting. It’s time to finalize the Equal Rights Amendment and enshrine gender equality.
Roe v. Wade was never expected to be the case that made history.
By Emily Bazelon
May 20, 2022
For three days in January 1970, they filled the 13th floor of the federal courthouse in Manhattan, women of all ages crowded into a conference room, sitting on the floor, spilling into the hallway. Some brought friends or husbands. One nursed a baby. Another was a painter who also taught elementary school. A third had gone to Catholic school. They’d come to give testimony in the case of Abramowicz v. Lefkowitz, the first in the country to challenge a state’s strict abortion law on behalf of women.
The witnesses in the courthouse were among 314 people, primarily women, brought together by a small team of lawyers, led by Florynce Kennedy and Nancy Stearns, to set up a legal argument no one had made before: that a woman’s right to an abortion was rooted in the Constitution’s promises of liberty and equal protection. New York permitted abortion only to save a woman’s life. Kennedy and Stearns wanted the court to understand how risking an illegal procedure or carrying a forced pregnancy could constrict women’s lives in ways that men did not experience.
Antiabortion activists have long sought to prevent this.
Perspective by Rachel Kranson
May 12, 2022
A leaked opinion revealed that the Supreme Court is potentially poised to reverse the long-standing legal precedent that established a constitutional right to abortion under the 14th Amendment’s right to privacy. That has left champions of abortion rights wondering about other legal avenues that could ensure reproductive freedom. Might the Constitution guarantee abortion access as a First Amendment, religious right?
Many Americans are surprised by the notion that a religious tradition could permit or even mandate the termination of a pregnancy. They assume all religions endorse the conservative Christian view that life begins at conception, rendering abortion akin to murder.
Survey shows most women get contraception at doctor’s office, don’t have copays
BY GABY GALVIN
April 28, 2022
If the Supreme Court weakens federal abortion protections this summer, nearly half of women under age 45 say they would be worried about their ability to access another form of reproductive health care: birth control.
Some states are already taking steps to restrict abortion, and clinicians and advocates have warned the high court’s decision will cause ripple effects across the women’s health landscape. Clinics serving low-income patients, for example, may struggle to continue offering other services such as testing and birth control. Meanwhile, legal protections for abortion and contraception are connected through court precedent establishing privacy rights.
After building toward such a moment for half a century, pro-life legal efforts aren’t likely to stop there.
By Jeannie Suk Gersen, The New Yorker
April 17, 2022
In 2003, when the Supreme Court held, in Lawrence v. Texas, that criminalizing gay sex was unconstitutional, it insisted that the decision had nothing to do with marriage equality. In a scathing dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote, “Do not believe it.” Then, in 2013, when the Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act’s definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman, emphasizing the tradition of letting the states define marriage, Scalia issued another warning, saying that “no one should be fooled” into thinking that the Court would leave states free to exclude gay couples from that definition. He was finally proved right two years later, when the reasoning on dignity and equality developed in those earlier rulings led to the Court’s holding that the Constitution requires all states to recognize same-sex marriage.
Efforts to roll back abortion and contraception access aim to control women’s sexuality
By Anya Jabour, Washington Post
March 25, 2022
Last weekend, Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) released a video criticizing Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, President Biden’s Supreme Court nominee, and denouncing what Blackburn called the “constitutionally unsound” ruling in Griswold v. Connecticut. In that 1965 case, the Supreme Court struck down a state law restricting married couples’ access to birth control on the basis that such laws infringed upon Americans’ right to privacy. The right to privacy established in this case subsequently informed the 1972 decision in Eisenstadt v. Baird, which extended privacy rights and contraceptive access to single women, and the 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, which declared access to safe and legal abortions a fundamental right protected by the U.S. Constitution.
Now, these landmark cases face political opposition and legal challenges.
Continued: (unblocked link) https://wapo.st/3IHR7EA
The 6–3 majority-conservative Supreme Court is dangerously out of step with a demographically and culturally changing America.
By Ronald Brownstein, The Atlantic
FEBRUARY 11, 2022
The supreme court has set itself on a collision course with the forces of change in an inexorably diversifying America.
The six Republican-appointed Supreme Court justices have been nominated and confirmed by GOP presidents and senators representing the voters least exposed, and often most hostile, to the demographic and cultural changes remaking 21st-century American life. Now the GOP Court majority is moving at an accelerating pace to impose that coalition’s preferences on issues such as abortion, voting rights, and affirmative action.
BY MICHAEL J. DELL, OPINION CONTRIBUTOR
As the Supreme Court
considers Mississippi’s request to overturn Roe v. Wade, most people realize
that the constitutional right to abortion is in grave, perhaps mortal peril.
Former President Donald Trump made clear he would pack the court with justices
who would reject Roe, and he was able to pick three justices: Neil Gorsuch,
Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.
It is hard to
overstate what a critical crossroad the challenge to Roe presents not only for
abortion but for so many of our other most cherished constitutional rights.