Abortion Rights Movement Battles Ban and Restrictions

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Courtesy of Seattle City Council (Flickr CC0)

Abortion is set to become illegal in 26 states this summer. The Supreme Court will finalize the circulated draft about its decision to overturn Roe v Wade, the risk to criminalize abortion.

In his Supreme Court argument, Justice Samuel Alito contends that overturning Roe v Wade would allow women to pursue the influence of the legislative process.

If women in the post-Roe era do not like the state laws that uphold abortion rights, Alito visualizes a world where women can change that. He indicated that women could vote in higher numbers than men, and they could lobby and run for office.

Then again, civil rights and voting access advocates say that Alito’s report does not include the South including Georgia, Mississippi, and Texas, where the poor and the voters of color cannot cast their vote making it more difficult for abortion rights candidates to gain ground.

Southern states prohibit abortion and are one of the toughest places to participate in elections.

Fight for Abortion Rights

The fight for abortion rights will shift away from the federal courts and back to the county level enforced by police and prosecutors. Public defenders will now play a key role, as the majority of individuals facing abortion prosecution will land in their offices for legal protection.

Courtesy of Victoria Pickering (Flickr CC0)

For decades, the abortion rights crusade has been standing up to thousands of restrictions as they emerge in state after state. The 1973 precedent established by Roe that guarantees the right to an abortion before fetal viability might fade when the high court gives a final argument. When that transpires, the people playing legal defense around abortion rights will challenge the anti-abortion state laws.

State constitutions could bolster arguments for abortion protections. Some states’ constitutions recognize the freedom of abortion, but others have ambiguous language around gender equality, privacy, and issues that will encourage attorneys to contest abortion prohibitions and constraints.

Recently, the Center for Reproductive Rights filed a case to stop a near-total abortion ban in Oklahoma based on the state constitution’s language. Attorneys are also studying a religious freedom tactic used by the anti-abortion to oppose state bans on abortion. They are looking into mobilizing Jewish plaintiffs whose belief permits abortion and mandates if it is a threat to the mother’s life.

The free exercise clause restricts states from decreeing laws that encumber a person’s right to exercise their faith. Activists and legal groups are asking the Biden governance to have the FDA stop the limitations on the abortion pill and forbid states from restricting its distribution.

Though the pills are for the first ten weeks of pregnancy in the U.S., supporters contend it is better than nothing.

There are many tools and groups to help minimize the risk of criminalization for abortion, but the challenge is bringing them all together to face the post-Roe reality.

Written by Janet Grace Ortigas

Politico: What abortion rights advocates are planning if Roe falls; by Alice Miranda Ollstein and Laura Barron-Lopez
News Republic: Public Defenders Are About to Be on the Front Lines for Protecting Abortion Rights; by Melissa Gira Grant
NBC News: Alito says overturning Roe would give women a voice on abortion. In the South, it’s not that simple.

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Seattle City Council‘s Wikimedia – Public Domain License
Inset Image Courtesy of Victoria Pickering’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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