It’s almost impossible to believe that after almost fifty years, the United States Supreme Court has overturned the landmark decision of Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion nationally. As a child, I can remember when Roe became the law of the land. My mother was so happy, jubilant would be a better word, that she was nearly dancing. My father, who helped deliver as many as three thousand babies, was equally ebullient. While I didn’t quite understand it at the time, years later my mother and father would explain her excitement at the decision, that would forever change the plight of women, or so we thought.
After fifty years, it was believed by most observers that it was settled law, stare decisis. Although with the Supreme Court now packed with conservative justices after Trump was awarded three appointees, this day seemed all too possible. In a weak attempt to placate the majority of people in this country who are in favor of at least limited abortion, Justice Alito wrote, “to ensure that our decision is not misunderstood or mischaracterized, we emphasize that our decision concerns the constitutional right to abortion and no other right. Nothing in this opinion should be understood to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion.” Of course, this is of little comfort to same sex couples who understand that the reasoning for the legalization of same sex marriage is based on a similar foundation as Roe. It’s also very disingenuous and transparent what Alito is attempting to do. That should be beneath a Justice of the Supreme Court.
What this now means is that abortion rights go back to the states. Half the states will expand abortion rights, while the other half will ban abortions altogether. Some will allow for exceptions such as rape, incest, and the life of the mother, while others will not. What’s so disturbing for me, is that this decision isn’t based on Constitutionality but rather fanatical religious beliefs. Why there are insanely religious people in the world who must force their views on others, is incomprehensible, although I do have my suspicions. One thing of which I am certain, it’s not because they’re good, holy, righteous individuals. It’s more about control and fanatical beliefs in their religion. Their religion!!! There used to be a sign on the FDR Drive in Manhattan that said, “if you don’t like gay marriage, don’t get married.” If you don’t like abortion, then choose not to have an abortion. But don’t impose your will on others.
The bigger issue is that any woman could be faced with a life-threatening situation regarding her and her fetus, when carrying a baby to term. There are so many situations to consider. That’s where my mother’s story becomes relevant. A year and a half prior to my being born, before Roe v Wade, my mother had an ectopic pregnancy and the fetus died. However, her gynecologist and my father, told her that despite the fact the fetus was dead, he couldn’t do anything until she hemorrhaged. This was in NYC, Mount Sinai Hospital. My father, a doctor, took her for a ride around Central Park in one of the horse-drawn carriages, waiting for her to hemorrhage. She finally did and almost bled to death on the way to the hospital. It was far more critical than my father believed it would be, as he explained to me. It was just one reason abortion needed to be legalized. While we will never again return to that barbaric time in New York City, there are women scattered across this nation who will have their lives put in jeopardy by strangers with no understanding of their personal circumstances.
Shame on the Supreme Court Justices for rendering this horrible, unjust and backwards decision. They are unwise and demonstrated their lack of Constitutional responsibility for reversing a fifty-year precedent. Five of the six Justices in the majority are of the same religion. You know the one? Where innocent children were being molested and abused for decades, probably centuries, and their abuser’s evil sins covered up by a complicit hierarchy. The hypocrisy is staggering.
There will of course be protests as there should be and, in the states, where abortion will be provided, women will be helped. However, there are too many too count that won’t have access to safe healthcare, under which abortion falls. Fortunately, a number of large companies have already committed to paying the travel fees of women who live in states where abortion is illegal. While we will certainly be living with the consequences of this decision, for the foreseeable future, I am optimistic that this will not stand for as long as Roe stood as precedent of the country.
Abortion is not a happy procedure. It’s certainly not the same as a healthy baby being born to a loving family. It’s not something any woman, regardless of circumstance, would choose, given an ideal situation. But it is necessary and a decision that should be reached between a woman and her healthcare provider. What gives me hope is that the younger generations, millennials and Gen Zer’s, (when the baby boomers and generation X are gone,) will once again restore liberal social policies as laws of the land. It’s not because I’m liberal but rather because I understand that my view of the world doesn’t need to be everyone’s view of the world. Live and let live! As we wait and see what the next moves will be, we must defend the rights of same sex couples because that will unquestionably be the next battleground. There can be no further setbacks as it will mean the journey back will take that much longer.