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DRIVING US BACKWARDS: Supreme Court reverses 50 years of women’s rights

DRIVING US BACKWARDS: Supreme Court reverses 50 years of women’s rights

DRIVING US BACKWARDS: Supreme Court reverses 50 years of women's rights

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In a majority decision issued today in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson, the Supreme Court of the United States officially struck down Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision made by the court that gave women control of their own reproductive destinies.

After over 50 years, a woman’s constitutional right to abortion is over.

According to conservative Justice Samuel Alito, “The Constitution makes no reference to abortion and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision.”

Justice Clarence Thomas — who joined the majority in upholding the restrictive Mississippi law that led to the overturning of Roe — hinted in his concurring statement that further rulings were imminent that could reverse precedent in Supreme Court rulings that allow contraception and that legalized gay marriage.

“In future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell,” Thomas wrote. “Because any substantive due process decision is ‘demonstrably erroneous’ … we have a duty to ‘correct the error’ established in those precedents … After overruling these demonstrably erroneous decisions, the question would remain whether other constitutional provisions guarantee the myriad rights that our substantive due process cases have generated.”

Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan issued a joint dissent expressing “sorrow” for today’s ruling. They climaxed their rebuke of the Court’s decision with this statement:

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“With sorrow — for this Court, but more, for the many millions of American women who have today, lost a fundamental constitutional protection—we dissent.”

Planned Parenthood and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) both weighed in on the decision, offering both support for women’s rights and a commitment to keep fighting to preserve women’s reproductive rights.

Pelosi had strong words for the GOP:

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“A woman’s fundamental health decisions are her own to make, in consultation with her doctor and her loved ones – not to be dictated by far-right politicians. This cruel ruling is outrageous and heart-wrenching.  But make no mistake: the rights of women and all Americans are on the ballot this November.”

The president of Planned Parenthood’s Action Fund, Alexis McGill Johnson, also vowed not to back down.

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Responses to today’s regressive Supreme Court ruling — stripping away 50 years of women’s rights — dominated social media after the decision was officially announced this morning.

Today’s Supreme Court decision didn’t come without Republican hypocrisy. Scores of right-wing politicians celebrated the decision on social media.

Even a supposed Libertarian like Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) hypocritically celebrated the removal of freedoms from half the U.S. population, the half that he doesn’t belong to.

Attorney General Ken Paxton (R-TX) announced he was “closing his office” in memory of aborted babies in order to celebrate today’s ruling.

Ironically, when 19 living children were slaughtered at Robb Elementary exactly a month ago today, it was business as usual.

13 states have “trigger bans” that will go into effect within 30 days of today’s ruling,  causing some women to have to travel across one or more states to access a safe and legal abortion. Some states are preparing to close “loopholes” that allow for women to travel out of state and are eyeing penalties for them if they do. On the other hand, states like Connecticut have been proactive, declaring themselves sanctuary states for women seeking reproductive healthcare. New York Mayor Eric Adams declared the city a safe haven, saying:

“To those seeking abortions around the country: Know that you are welcome here, and that we will make every effort to ensure our reproductive services are available and readily accessible to you.”

Today’s Supreme Court ruling is another blow to civil, individual, and privacy rights in America. Rights that weren’t given, but fought for and earned. The past week has shown that the conservative majority on the Supreme Court is no longer on the side of the American people, but instead pushing its own partisan and theocratic agenda. Overturning, not just the constitutional right to abortion, but the will of the people.

America has a long road ahead to restore the rights that were taken away today.

Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick


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Ty Ross
News journalist for Occupy Democrats.

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