Explainer-Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision hinged on women’s right to privacy -Breaking
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO. An activist shouts slogans at a protest in support of abortion rights during the anniversary of Roe v. Wade’s decision by the U.S Supreme Court in Washington (U.S.A.), January 22, 2022. REUTERS/Sarah Silbiger/File Photo
(Reuters) – A draft of the initial majority opinion has been leaked and suggests that the U.S. Supreme Court could vote against Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion in the United States. Politico reported Monday.
Reuters could not confirm that the draft was authentic. Both the Supreme Court of Justice and White House refused to comment.
A woman’s right to have an abortion through the first trimester of pregnancy was protected nationally in 1973, following the Supreme Court’s landmark 7-2 ruling here https://tile.loc.gov/storage-services/service/ll/usrep/usrep410/usrep410113/usrep410113.pdf in Roe v. Wade.
Jane Roe (later Norma McCorvey) was an unmarried, pregnant woman who couldn’t get an abortion in Texas. It was against Texas law that it is illegal unless the mother’s life was at risk.
Roe’s lawyers said she was unable to travel out of the state to obtain an abortion and argued that the law was too vague and infringed on her constitutional rights.
THE MAJORITY RULING
“Pregnancy can often come more than once to one woman and in general, if men are to survive, it’ll always be with them,” Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun wrote in the majority opinion. He was a Republican nominee by President Richard Nixon. The vast majority opinion detailed the attitudes regarding abortion since the Persian empire.
According to the Texas decision, this law violated women’s privacy rights and was too broad. It also violated due process clauses in the U.S Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment.
“This right of privacy…is broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy. This is a clear indication of the harm that the State could inflict on a pregnant woman by refusing to allow her choice.
It is possible that there may be a specific and immediate harm, which can even be medically diagnosed in an early-term pregnancy. A woman could be subject to distressful future and life choices due to her pregnancy or the addition of offspring. The possibility of psychological harm is possible. Child care can be detrimental to mental and physical health. Unwanted children can also cause emotional distress to all involved.
“In certain cases such as the one above, additional stigmas and difficulties may arise from unwed mommyhood. All of these factors are something the woman should discuss with her doctor.
Five Republican-nominated Judges were included in the majority. This court decided that the state had the right to regulate and prohibit the process in the second trimester.
Blackmun stated, “We disagree that Texas, adopting one theory, may override rights of pregnant women that are at risk.”
We reiterate, however that there is an important legitimate interest of the State in protecting and preserving the health and well-being of pregnant women, regardless of whether they are residents or nonresidents who visit the State for medical treatment and consultation. It also has a legitimate interest to protect the human potential. These two interests are independent and distinct.
Justices Byron White (a Democratic appointee) and William Rehnquist (a Republican nominee, who was later to be the U.S. chief judge), dissented.
This decision sparked a furore among conservative social and judiciary judges who had long sought to overturn or undermine it.