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Possible abortion ban generates protests for and against in the US; understand the case

Possible abortion ban generates protests for and against in the US; understand the case

The leak of a draft decision that would overturn the United States Supreme Court’s understanding of Roe v. Wade, who guarantees abortion rights across the country, urged supporters of the ban and pro-abortion people to protest throughout Tuesday.

According to the draft, the court would completely nullify the federal constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy, which has been in effect since 1973. About twenty US states already have bills designed to limit access to abortion if the decision is overturned.

The draft, which was identified as authentic by the Supreme Court itself, shows a possible decision to be approved in the country, as five of the nine Supreme Court justices are conservative – three of them were appointed by former President Donald Trump.

Understand the case Roe v. wade

Fundamentally, the right to abortion in the United States is based on the jurisprudence of the famous case Roe v. Wade, who argued, on the basis of the US Constitution, to guarantee a woman the termination of a pregnancy.

The case was carried out by Norma McCorvey in 1971, known in court documents as Jane Roe — a woman residing in Texas who did not want to continue with her pregnancy.

McCorvey sued Henry Wade, the Dallas attorney from 1951 to 1987, who enforced a Texas law that prohibited abortion except to save a woman’s life. This law had been declared unconstitutional in an earlier federal district court case.

Wade ignored the court’s decision and both sides appealed. Hence the name “Roe vs. Wade”.

The case was later discussed in the US Supreme Court on December 13, 1971 and, nearly a year later, again discussed on October 11, 1972. Finally, on January 22, 1973, the US Supreme Court affirmed the legality of a woman’s right to have an abortion under the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.

The Court ruled that a woman’s right to abortion was included in the right to privacy (recognized in Griswold v. Connecticut), protected by the 14th Amendment. The decision granted women the right to have an abortion throughout their pregnancy and defined different levels of state interest in regulating abortion in the second and third trimesters.

Roe currently protects, within limits, a woman’s right to have an abortion. Without it, states would be free to make their own laws.

A large number of states in the South and Midwest of the United States already have laws that would make abortion illegal almost immediately after the Roe case was dropped, which now seems extremely likely. Other states, like New York, have laws that would protect access to abortion even without case law.

The situation would then be much like the early 1970s, with a patchwork of state laws across the country, each with different regulations and requirements.

Women could have access to abortion in some states and face criminal sanctions for it in others.

What does the leaked vote say?

In the draft, Alito rejected arguments that other provisions of the Constitution that address privacy or liberty could be invoked to defend the right to an abortion.

He said that while Roe’s supporters point to the 14th Amendment Clause, they are mistaken. That’s because, according to Alito, while the Clause may guarantee some rights that are not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution, those rights have to be “deeply rooted in the history and tradition of this nation.”

“The right to abortion does not fall into this category,” he said. In fact, according to Alito, the Roe case was “terribly wrong” from the start and his reasoning is “exceptionally weak”.

Alito concluded that it is time to turn the matter back to the states: “This is what the Constitution and the rule of law demand.” “Our Nation’s historic understanding of ordained liberty does not preclude the elected representatives of the people from deciding how abortion should be regulated,” he added.

what can happen after

The first restrictions would take effect in 13 states with so-called “trigger laws” to be enacted if the decision is overturned.

The states are Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wyoming, according to the Guttmacher Institute, an abortion advocacy research group.

Some laws almost completely prohibit abortion, while others would limit it after 6 or 15 weeks. How quickly these laws would affect abortion could vary.

For example, the Arkansas trigger law takes effect once the state attorney general certifies that Roe v. Wade was overthrown, the institute says. In Texas, a near-total ban on abortion would take effect 30 days after a Supreme Court ruling.

The Guttmacher Institute estimates that 26 out of 50 states are certain or likely to ban abortion if Roe v. Wade fall, leaving women in large swaths of the US Southwest and Midwest without access to nearby medical procedure.

Most states where abortion would still be legal are on the west coast — such as California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington — or in the northeast. California Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday proposed enshrining the right to abortion in the state constitution.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, a handful of states in the Midwest and Southwest must keep abortion legal, such as Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota and New Mexico.

Under this scenario, a woman in Miami, Florida, may have to drive 11 hours, or more than 1,100 kilometers, to reach North Carolina, where abortion is expected to remain legal.

Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey and Vermont passed legislation this year aimed at protecting or expanding access to abortion.

*With information from CNN and Reuters

Source: CNN Brasil