Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday June 28, 2022
Equitable abortion access now
The U.S. Supreme Court decision on abortion ruling was not a surprise. But it was stunning all the same.
Stunning for the fact the court actually reversed its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, upending almost 50 years of constitutionally-protected access to abortion. It’s disturbing for its impact on gender rights. And it’s deeply upsetting for the immediate practical effect it now has on individuals seeking the procedure.
We knew it was coming, thanks to the leak of a draft ruling in May. Those who held out faint hope that the outcry that followed that revelation might prompt the top justices to rethink or water down their ruling were left disappointed. They did not.
The decision removes the protection which had guaranteed access to abortions. With that protection gone, it’s now up to each individual state to determine the legality of the procedure. In more than a dozen states, abortion is now illegal as a result of the decision. Other states, like California, are looking for enshrine the right to abortion. And in many others, the fate of the procedure will hinge on protracted political debates.
In their dissenting opinion, Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan declared that the majority refused to consider the “life-altering” consequences of reversing the law.
“After today, young women will come of age with fewer rights than their mothers and grandmothers had. The majority accomplishes that result without so much as considering how women have relied on the right to choose or what it means to take that right away,” they wrote.