Leak of Roe vs. Wade decision a victory for religious fervor – The Forward

The leaked Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe vs. Wade overturns something almost as important as a woman’s right to choose: a belief that rights, once won, are ours.

The last few years have been a continuing lesson in loss, if not a dark age – a time when the curtains that had been opened to the light seem to be closing.

Roe vs. Wade, we thought, was “established law”. But, according to a copy of a draft Supreme Court decision that Politics published on Monday evening, the Court stands ready to overturn its historic 1973 decision affirming the Constitutional protection of a pregnant woman’s right to choose to have an abortion without undue government restriction.

Abortion is common: About 1 in 4 American women have one at some point in today’s legal landscape. But if the court indeed reversed deer26 states would fundamentally ban abortion, according to the Guttmacher Institute. Women in these states, and others expected to pass laws making abortion harder to obtain or even illegal, would face a situation familiar to generations of women before.deer: find ways to circumvent the law that could lead to serious health problems.

This means that women who are able would flock to states where abortion remains legal and accessible – California, for its part, is imagined to see a 3000% increase the number of women seeking services.

But there would be thousands of women unable to afford the time or expense of travel, the majority of them poor, young and of color. Sheila KatzCEO of the National Council of Jewish Women, last year called abortion “a matter of racial justice,” asserting that “our Jewish values ​​compel us” to ensure access.

These women would be the victims of a battle that too many of us thought had been won for good. They made a tv movie about it in 1989, right? “Roe vs. Wade go to the Supreme Court! a virtuous Holly Hunter declares triumphantly in the film.

This triumph satisfied the majority of Americans who believe abortion should be safe and legal – since 1989, between 52% and 66% of Americans say they want Roe to be respected.

But the victory reinvigorated an opposition, rooted in the Christian right – evangelicals allied with conservative Catholics – which have engaged in a long, targeted battle to overthrow Roe.

One team won as a given, another as a goal. Their battle plan was broad: elect local officials who would pass more restrictive laws and push Supreme Court candidates who would, even if they said that deer was “established law”, sign a decision eviscerating it.

They even made their own”Roe vs. Wade” film in 2019. It features anti-abortion activists behind an “anti-Catholic conspiracy”, as The New York Times he says, “in cahoots, we are told, with Hollywood, the news media, Protestant clergy and rabbis, the latter being singled out in a cartoonish scene.”

The religious overtones should come as no surprise, as the fight for reproductive rights in America has always been about the blurred lines between church and state.

Anti-abortion views are rooted in a specific Christian belief that life begins at conception and therefore abortion is murder. The Jews don’t believe that.

“In the Jewish tradition, the needs of the pregnant woman are at the center of the moral equation,” writes Sarah Selzereditor at the Jewish feminist journal Lilith.

The State of Israel, which so many evangelical Christians wholeheartedly support, has legalized abortion since 1977.

“Undoing the legality or government funding of abortion is not the cause of any political party, not even the most right wing,” journalist Yardena Schwartz wrote earlier this year. “Why? Because life and its protection are sacred in Judaism, and when a woman’s physical or mental health is threatened by an unwanted pregnancy, it is the right thing to do to enable her to terminate this pregnancy.

Although Jews are a tiny minority in the United States, this statement aligns more closely with what a majority of Americans think. Unfortunately, not with vehement religious enemies of abortion and do-it-yourself politicians.

It seemed deer, by enshrining the right of citizens to decide how to handle pregnancy according to their own faith and conscience, ended the fight. But it’s not – it just left one side thinking the fight was won.

And if there’s a lesson to be learned from Monday’s leaked draft, it’s that fights like this are never truly won.

When Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, a solid majority of Americans believed that progress in race relations was “inevitable”. We now know that the fight is far from over.

There are school boards and libraries across America ban books and the teaching of accepted facts of American history. There is an increase of white nationalism and, as the last of the generation of Holocaust survivors dies, more recorded incidents of antisemitism.

Beginning Monday night outside the Supreme Court, abortion rights activists took to the streets to protest the upcoming ruling. They will no doubt be joined by large protests across the country in the coming days.

The lesson is learned, and probably must be relearned forever: don’t take any freedom for granted.

Comments are closed.