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  • what is one of the most contentious issues in US politics.

  • The right to legal abortion across all 50 states.

  • Now that right has been guaranteed by law since the 1973 Roe V wade ruling.

  • And now it looks like that right may soon be removed.

  • A draft majority decision by Judge Alito has been leaked to politico and as it stands, it means the end of Roe V wade.

  • The Supreme Court Chief Justice has confirmed the authenticity of the document saying it's not a final draft, an investigation into the leak has been opened but the results of the leak are already explosive.

  • The bombshell leak set off a fireball of here in the U.

  • S.

  • Capitol as pro choice protesters gathered outside the Supreme Court.

  • They are not going to get away with this.

  • Let me say that I don't care what I have to do but they're not going to do this to D.

  • C.

  • And they are not going to do this to America.

  • There's more of us than there is of them and we are going to fight the only a draft, it's the strongest evidence yet that a majority of the Supreme Court is preparing to overturn the right to abortion.

  • A right established nearly half a century ago in the 1973 landmark ruling roe v wade.

  • The opinion penned by Justice Samuel Alito and backed by other conservative justices goes further than many expected.

  • The 98 page long document cults wrote egregiously wrong from the start and will leave the fate of a woman's right to choose in the hands of lawmakers in individual states for anti abortion activists, it would mark a victory decades in the making made possible by President Donald trump who's three appointments to the Supreme Court tilted the balance and conservatives favor.

  • But for millions of women, the ruling would come at a high cost.

  • As many seeking an abortion would have to travel to other states to get one a tall critics say would hit those already struggling emotionally and financially the hardest.

  • Currently, 26 of 50 states are set to ban or restrict abortion.

  • Many worry it would deepen the divide In an already polarized country with democrats predicted to lose control of Congress in the midterm elections.

  • This november progressive lawmakers are calling on the party to fight back before it's too late in a tweet, Senator Bernie Sanders urged his colleagues to pass legislation securing the right to abortion with the controversial issue.

  • Now, all for sure to dominate the coming months, America could be headed for a highly divisive midterm election And for more on this, I'm delighted to welcome Carol Sanger, she's a professor at Columbia law and a scholar of reproductive rights, her most recent book on the subject about abortion terminating pregnancy in the 21st century.

  • Thank you so much for taking the time to join us on the day, Professor, if the court does indeed overturn roe v wade.

  • Can you tell us how immediate the impact would be on americans ability to access an abortion.

  • Well, the impact will be almost immediately.

  • It will be an immediate impact because so many of the states who that oppose abortion have already enacted the legislation.

  • They mean need to criminalize it.

  • So they passed these laws called trigger laws Nice American name, which suggests that um, the minute they would say that the minute roe is overturned, it triggers the automatic enactment of the criminalization of abortion.

  • So it will be immediate.

  • And um, some of the states had never repealed their criminal abortion laws from 19 from the 1970s.

  • So everybody on the, on the against side is raring and pretty ready to go.

  • So with those 1970 laws also then presumably be in effect as soon as this was overturned unless they were repealed and a number of them were not repealed.

  • So we have the trigger laws that were enacted after row.

  • We have the laws that were in effect before roe.

  • And um, the law will go into effect and probably more pertinent for women will also be the fact that clinics will close because doctors are not going to risk their licenses.

  • They're not going to be performing illegal procedures.

  • So it's two effects.

  • One is the legal consequence and the other is the practical or actual, so that's not going to be in all us states though, is it?

  • No, it's not.

  • It looks like it's split about half half right now, but it is up to each state to make a decision.

  • And there are probably 10 states who have already decided they support legal abortion, and the way they've gone about that is by amending their state constitutions so that um there's a privacy clause or something or other language which which makes clear that abortion is a respected and acknowledged right in that state.

  • So states can do that, you can have a constitutional state right to abortion.

  • So, for people who are living in states that do outlaw it will it will it then be possible to travel to likely more liberal states which have put these into place to seek an abortion?

  • Yes, it will.

  • And they won't be they won't be um necessarily adjacent to one another.

  • Um But there'll be you can you can travel there will certainly be states who passed legislation saying you can't travel from an illegal state to a legal state to try to ban women from doing that.

  • But those will be approached in um those will be appealed to courts and I think will be unsuccessful because in the US we also still have a right to travel from state to state that's part of our federal do as citizens of the United States.

  • Okay.

  • But that's something we can expect to be c we can expect to potentially see be played out before the courts.

  • I want to ask you roe v wade held the right to privacy includes decisions about abortion, But are there other parts of the constitution that could protect the right to abortion should be overturned?

  • As it's looking likely?

  • Well, there might have been had privacy not been the um the theory that that was used by advocates in the early 1970s.

  • Because clearly the alito decision tears down privacy in every way that it can and says privacy is not in the constitution, privacy wouldn't cover abortion even if it was.

  • I mean, it really it makes it impossible to use privacy as a basis.

  • And other advocates, including Justice Ruth Ginsberg thought that privacy was an if he approached anyway, she predicted some of the problems with privacy, which is anyway, and and she thought that a better ground was sex equality and that if you look carefully at what bans on abortion, do what their real harm is.

  • It is it is an invasion of one's privacy to make an intimate decision.

  • But it's also on a very different theory treating men and women differently, based on sexual conduct, that women are still assigned the stereotypical role of mothers and with an abortion ban, coerced motherhood or involuntary motherhood, where men face nothing like that.

  • In the U.

  • S.

  • The problem was based on privacy though.

  • I mean, the implications of this decision though, will be about more than just abortion, won't they?

  • If it's based on privacy.

  • What about other rights based on that presumption like same sex marriage or even access to contraception.

  • Yes.

  • The language in row about privacy and about intimate decision making came straight out of a case from the 1960s called Griswold vs, Connecticut where Connecticut had banned the use of contraception by anybody including married couples.

  • So married couple sued to say it was unconstitutional.

  • And the court, the Supreme Court then said you're right.

  • It is we believe marriage marriage is a sacred institution and that the state should not be intruding into the marital bedroom to see if people are using contraception or not.

  • And that language that was based on privacy and that language was wholly transposed over to roe v wade.

  • So the thought is if roe goes down, maybe you have to rewind the whole thing and and contraception bill will be taken away.

  • There's also a worry about same sex relationships um same sex marriage.

  • Um So it's this all remains to be seen.

  • Although Judge Alito said no, no, those are different.

  • Don't worry you just because we're knocking out abortion doesn't mean we'd knock out contraception.

  • And his reason is because there's no fetus involved in um contraception, but there are Children involved in contraception or the idea of Children and the same with marriage.

  • So I don't know that his it's not exactly a pledge, but his suggestion that those other subjects won't be touched.

  • I I'm not banking on it.

  • All right, we will be keeping an eye on that in the weeks and months to come?

  • Professor Carol Sanger at Columbia Law.

  • I want to thank you again so much for joining us on the day.

  • You're welcome.

what is one of the most contentious issues in US politics.

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Abortion law: Overturn by US Supreme Court would have immediate effect, says law professor | DW News

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    林宜悉 posted on 2022/02/19
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