United States: The Supreme Court seeks to overturn abortion rights

By: Luis Meiners

On monday night Politico published a draft of a document expressing the position of the majority of the Supreme Court in favor of overturning the rulings that uphold abortion rights. This decision, if confirmed, would enable states to legislate on abortion bans, which could happen quickly in at least 26 of the 50 US states. An urgent response on the streets is needed.

The leaked document elaborates on the arguments to rule in favor of the state of Mississippi in its attempt to ban most cases of abortion after 15 weeks of gestation. It is within the framework of this decision, whose final verdict will be known in the next two months, that the Supreme Court would overturn Roe v. Wade (1973) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992) that protect abortion rights.

This confirms what has been known since the appointment of Amy Coney Barrett in the last months of the Trump presidency consolidated a conservative majority in the Supreme Court. Furthermore, in December 2021 preliminary hearings in the Mississippi case had already indicated this trend. Even earlier, in September 2021 year, the Supreme Court had decided not to block the Texas legislation that prohibited abortion in most of its causes after 6 weeks of gestation.

This decision of the Supreme Court is a qualitative leap in the framework of an offensive against reproductive rights that has been developing for a long time. Initiatives undermining access to this right have been going for decades, under both Democratic and Republican administrations. The current decision, moreover, comes in a context marked by an offensive against LGBTIQ rights, with legislation in states such as Florida, Texas and Arizona that attack the LGBTIQ community in general and the rights of trans people in particular. .

In spite of these clear signs, the prevailing strategy upheld by non-profits and sectors related to the Democratic Party has been to rely on the institutions to defend sexual and reproductive rights. This only leads to defeats. The defense of these rights cannot depend on the electoral calculations of Biden and the Democratic Party. As we have seen in other parts of the world, the only guarantee is massive mobilization in the streets. That is the path that must be taken urgently.