Back to a Repressive Past

The United States Supreme Court has made a decision that will result in abortion becoming illegal in states governed by Republicans. That is fatal.

For 49 years, American women had the right to end an unwanted pregnancy if they so wished. On Friday, this right was taken from them. With a 5-4 vote, the conservative majority of Supreme Court justices voted to overturn the 1973 landmark Roe v. Wade ruling. The Supreme Court is not prohibiting abortions in general in the United States, but it is handing the power back to the individual states to legally regulate abortions. What that means in conservative states, those governed by Republicans, is obvious: Abortions will become illegal there, sometimes even in cases of incest and rape.

Democrats Have Made Things Easier for Republicans in the Past

Politically speaking, the ruling is a massive victory for Republicans. They have been laboring for decades to appoint conservative justices to the Supreme Court in order to overturn Roe v. Wade. Friday’s decision is the result of a very targeted, completely open and energetic campaign. It made things easier for Republicans that Democrats did not try harder to enshrine the right to abortion in law in the past 50 years and instead merely relied on a court ruling that has been attacked by conservatives from the beginning, the continued existence of which was always in question. In any case, Democrats cannot claim that they didn’t know what Republicans intended.

The ruling is a massive step backward for society. One can support or oppose abortions for all sorts of reasons. However, a ban doesn’t prevent all abortions; it essentially makes them punishable and more dangerous. It’s not hard to imagine that this ruling, which supposedly protects unborn life, will cost mothers their lives. And a ban disenfranchises women, because it suggests that they are not capable or too frivolous to handle the difficult decisions associated with an abortion. That is a condescending and patronizing attitude that has nothing to do with reality.

Most modern Western societies acknowledge that terminating pregnancies should be possible under specific circumstances and during specific periods. They accept that the final decision should lie with the affected woman and that there must be legal, medically safe ways to get an abortion. This was also the case in the United States for five decades. At least a part of America wants to return to a repressive past — and the Supreme Court has given its blessing.

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About Michael Stehle 54 Articles
I am a graduate of the University of Maryland with a BA in Linguistics and Germanic Studies. I have a love for language and I find translation to be both an engaging activity as well as an important process for connecting the world.

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