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Supreme Court Battles Expose Fragility of Abortion Rights

Supreme Court Battles Expose Fragility of Abortion Rights

It's scary to think that without the 1973 Supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade, many states might still outlaw abortion today. This ruling, and no written law, is the only thing guaranteeing that the government cannot restrict a woman's right to an abortion whatsoever before viability. But it might not be a lifetime guarantee.

As the fervor around the abortion debate demonstrates, many people want to do away with this status quo, and since some on today's court willingly overrule precedent, no one should regard Roe v. Wade as safe. Thus, as with other presidents, abortion concerns will surely influence President Obama's upcoming Supreme Court nomination. He said yesterday: "I want somebody who is going to be interpreting our constitution in a way that takes into account individual rights, and that includes women's rights."

Clearly many states disagree that women have a right to abortion, and some lawmakers are doing their best to restrict access. Nebraska blatantly challenged Roe v. Wade this month by passing a law that prohibits abortion before viability. If that case found itself in front of a Supreme Court majority that supports the "right to life," guaranteed abortion rights could significantly change throughout the country. What's more worrisome? As Newsweek reports, young people who agree with Roe seem growingly apathetic about defending a woman's right to choose.

Do you ever worry that you may no longer have a right to legal, and thus safe, abortion?

Image Source: Getty
jocupcake jocupcake 7 years
Anonymous: 1) If you are a humanist, why do you care more about the life of an embryo or unviable fetus than the life of the woman who is already living? (sidenote: the overwhelming majority of abortions are performed before the embryo even develops into a fetus) 2) Many people use birth control perfectly and still have an accidental pregnancy. Obviously getting pregnant was not their choice. 3) It is ridiculous to force women to bring babies to term if they have do not have the financial or emotional means to support them. This will only lead to a bad quality of life for the child and eventually burden US taxpayers with increasing numbers of families on welfare since they can't afford to support their children. Yes some will be lucky and be adopted but this is not what will happen to all, or even most children.
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 7 years
I love that story about your brother, jo! That's awesome. I love seeing younger kids and teens that are accepting like that :) I guess I have a 50/50 optimism. Sometimes I feel really optimistic about our generation, but sometimes I feel like we're heading into another dark ages. I guess it just depends on my mood. Or whether I read the newspaper that morning ;) But I agree with SKG that the younger generations seem much more accepting and progressive. Most anti-choice demonstrators I see are older. And I also agree with tlsgirl that sometimes the far-right seems much bigger than they really are because of their giant, obnoxious mouths. Once the younger generations are old enough to be the main decision-makers in this country, I hope that our nation takes a turn for the better.
jocupcake jocupcake 7 years
^ A prime example of the abstinence only eduction success rate. I agree that losing abortion rights is a scary thought... though I am also hopeful that future generations are reasonable enough to prevent this. I don't know if any of you have recently interacted with younger (high school, middle school age) kids but they are really progressive and it makes me happy. The other day my little brother (in 8th grade) nonchalantly told me that one of his best friends was gay which was a really good thing since "maybe he would know what to wear to the dance." Lol.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
^^ Yeah, because that's worked out SO well so far.
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 7 years
I just worry that they're going to go on teaching abstinence in schools forever.
Soniabonya Soniabonya 7 years
This completely frightens me. I am a strong believer in choice. The fact that some old men, religious idealist and other crazies want to put their beliefs not just on my body, but children who have been raped, women who have been assaulted, and women in a volatile pregnancies, pisses me off. Roe vs Wade allows for safety for all women and children that may decide for abortion. To take that safety net away is deplorable. We, as individuals, each have the right to choose what to do with our own personal bodies, and to take away the option of choice, strips us of our inherent rights as people.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 7 years
cirrus - She's a regular on the Sugar sites. Not to be confused with Lil Kim the rapper!
cirrus1701 cirrus1701 7 years
Who is Lil Kimbo? Just curious.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 7 years
You know, I think in the beginning after Obama was elected, most conservatives identified with the Tea Party movement because it gave them some hope after the 2008 election. But since then, I think it's atrophied to the point where it's so radical that it's not even taken seriously by mainstream republicans.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 7 years
You're right, SKG, I do think our generation is different. My bf and all of his friends went to catholic schools from kindergarten through college, and they all think abortion should be legal despite being inundated with pro-life propaganda from an early age. I'm more concerned about the people who are actually in power right now. I do, however, feel better with Obama being president. I think that if McCain would have won, Roe v. Wade would definitely be overturned due to vacancies on the Supreme Court being filled by conservative judges.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
I think the problem is that they're so incredibly, over-the-top loud that they seem much more numerous than they actually are.
socalbeachgal socalbeachgal 7 years
I worry about a woman's right to have control over her body. And I agree with tlsgirl about the tea-partiers and other vocal minorities taking over the political system.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
Sometimes I'm optimistic like you are SpaceKat, but sometimes I see the rise of Palin-loving tea partiers and anti-abortion marchers taking over downtown (I live in DC), with their 10- and 11-year-old kids in tow, and I sort of fear for the species.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 7 years
Yes, I worry. I just read a heartbreaking story this morning about a 10 year old girl in Mexico who was raped but cannot get a legal abortion, even though the doctors say delivering the baby would put her physical health at risk. I'm afraid the U.S. is headed in that direction.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
Of course I worry about it. There are so many people out there that don't expect a woman's right to make her own choices re: her own body that it's not something I feel like I can ever take for granted. What opponents don't seem to understand or choose to ignore is that taking away legalized abortion won't stop abortion, but just make it more dangerous.
mallorycurtis mallorycurtis 7 years
I do worry. I worry that a bunch of old balding white men think they can tell women what to do with their bodies. I worry that once they take this right from us, they'll try to take more and more and we'll be back in the 19th century again. And I worry that without access to safe and legal abortion, women will go back to dangerous and life-threatening practices to terminate their pregnancies and end up dead.
imLissy imLissy 7 years
I don't worry for myself, I worry for others.
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