By McKenzie Ward
As I sat in my office with my best friend, I got a notification on my laptop.
“Leaked documents reveal that SCOTUS plans to overturn Roe v Wade.”
I sat there in shock until I was able to utter out to my best friend, “Roe v Wade is being overturned.”
My best friend laughed because she thought I was joking, but the horror on my face made her quickly realize that I wasn’t joking.
Since 2016 when former President Donald Trump was elected, I always knew this could be a possibility, but I never imagined this day would actually come, especially given we currently have a Democratic president.
However, here we are.
And while this leaked document is only a draft of the decision and has not been adopted yet, it is authentic and it would allow states to decide on whether to ban abortion. According to the Guttmacher Institute, there are 23 states with pre-Roe abortion bans still on the books or have passed “trigger laws” that would immediately limit access to abortion if the SCOTUS overturns Roe.
Five justices, Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito, Neil M. Gorsuch, Brett M. Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett, got to decide that I don’t have bodily autonomy because “the Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision…” according to the draft that was leaked.
However, it can be argued that the right to an abortion is protected under the Ninth Amendment.
The Ninth Amendment states “the enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people,” which simply means the rights listed in the Constitution are not the only rights people are limited to.
If the SCOTUS begins deciding cases on the basis of “Well it doesn’t directly say they have that right in the Constitution,” we are in for a really dangerous future as it would mean decisions from Obergefell v Hodges, Griswold v Connecticut, and others that protect rights not directly stated in the Constitution are at risk.
And while in the draft, Alito states, “We emphasize that our decision concerns the constitutional right to abortion and no other right,” and “Nothing in this opinion should be understood to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion,” all three of the Trump-appointed justices stated in their sworn testimony to the Senate that they would not overturn Roe v Wade.
Why should we believe them now?
What now needs to happen is President Joe Biden and Congress need to pass legislation that codifies Roe v Wade as federal law - even if that means eliminating the filibuster.
While eliminating the filibuster is a dangerous choice as it would give Republicans free rein to do as they please the next time they are in control of the Senate, it is truly the only hope for federal abortion legislation.
What also can be done if the filibuster is not eliminated, is states need to codify abortion rights into their own state laws, which Massachusetts has already done.
To Chief Justice John Roberts, you’re demanding an investigation into who leaked these documents, but there is clear evidence that Justice Thomas’ wife was involved with the Jan. 6 riot. Where is that investigation?
To Gorsuch, Barrett, Kavanaugh, and Alito who under oath lied to the United States Senate during their confirmation hearings in relation to their stance on abortion, aren’t you ashamed? It is disgraceful that you all turned your backs on American citizens and did not stay true to your word.
Your lies will hopefully be your legacy because that is all you are worth.
This was never about being pro-life.
This was about having control.
If forced birthers were truly pro-life, they would understand that an abortion can save someone’s life and that banning abortions won’t stop them from happening.
All it will end it will do is make safe abortions illegal.
The United States is the home of the free - as long as you’re a cisgender, rich, white, straight, man.