Decoding | From slavery to abortion

(New York) One of the bill’s provisions seems to come straight from a time when slavery was still rampant in the United States.

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Richard Hetu

Richard Hetu
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It was passed by Connecticut MPs in late April and prohibits the extradition to another state of a person who practices or facilitates abortion in the state’s Constitution. The measure could be necessary if women from a state where abortion is considered homicide – a clear possibility after a “Roe v. Wade” turnaround – travel to Connecticut to end an unwanted pregnancy. It is inspired by measures that before the Civil War were taken by free states where fugitive slaves took refuge.

The parallels between slavery and abortion are not new. In burning businessIn her recent collection of essays, Margaret Atwood uses a metaphor that has long been part of the rhetorical arsenal of some pro-choice activists.

No one is forcing women to have an abortion. No one is allowed to force them to give birth. Imposing labor if you want to, but at least call it what it is. This is slavery: the claim to possess and control the body of another, and profit from that claim.

Margaret Atwood, author of The Scarlet Girl

The anti-abortion movement is no exception. For decades, he likened the “Roe v. Wade” to the “Scott v. Sandford” decision, which experts consider to be the worst ever handed down by the Supreme Court. Written by the president of America’s highest court in 1857, it concluded that black people, free or enslaved, could not be citizens of the United States and that Congress had overstepped its authority by banning slavery in the new American territories. .

In this case, it is the unborn child that is compared to a slave.


Abortion rights protest before Washington Supreme Court on Saturday

From Taney to Alito

† [“Roe”] is not the first time our country has been divided by a Supreme Court ruling that denies the value of certain human lives. “Dred Scott’s 1857 decision was not reversed in a day, a year, or even a decade,” said former Republican President Ronald Reagan, less than 10 years after the landmark ruling recognized women’s constitutional right to abortion.

It actually took a civil war and two amendments, the 13and and 14andpassed in 1865 and 1868, to “Scott v. Sandford”.

The “Roe v. Wade” has yet to be officially toppled. But today, many experts and commentators are comparing Judge Samuel Alito’s draft to Judge Roger Taney’s decision in the Dred Scott case.

The latter thought to appease the strong tensions that tore the United States over the issue of slavery in the mid-19th centuryand century. By pushing his pro-slavery stance, he only contributed to a civil war that killed an estimated 620,000 soldiers between 1861 and 1865.

Judge Alito also believes in his preliminary draft decision to have found a solution for the “adverse consequences” of the “Roe v. Waden”. He proposes to strip women of this constitutional right, which has been recognized for nearly 50 years, and give states the task of deciding whether to have an abortion within their borders or even elsewhere in the United States.

However, by pushing his anti-abortion stance, Judge Alito could, in turn, help exacerbate tensions tearing his country apart.

It is no longer the right to own slaves that would mark the division of American states, but the right to abortion.

Although recent polls indicate that a large majority of Americans are against overthrowing Roe v. Waden”.

From Lincoln to Biden

Democrats will look to tap into that opposition in the coming months and see it as a theme that could help them run in the midterm elections, which will be held in November.

On Wednesday they will get to work by voting in the Senate on a bill intended to reduce the “Roe c. Wade” in federal law. They already know they won’t get the 60 out of 100 votes needed to move the text forward, under a rule known as “filibuster.”

But they hope to draw the electorate’s attention to the vote of Republican senators.

All of America will watch. Republicans will not be able to hide from the American people, and they will not be able to hide from their role in ending ‘Roe’.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced the vote last Thursday

Some pro-choice activists would have preferred that Joe Biden had been inspired by Abraham Lincoln from the beginning of his presidency to avoid ending up in the current situation. During the Civil War, the first Republican president convinced Congress to increase the number of Supreme Court justices from nine to ten to ensure a majority against slavery and labor unions.

But Joe Biden has refused to support the democratic left’s demands to add more Supreme Court jurisdictions. Addition that would have had the effect of counteracting the Republican maneuvers that led to the controversial confirmations of conservative judges Neil Gorsuch and Amy Comey Barrett.

In any case, as things stand now, an “extension” of the Supreme Court would have demanded the abolition of the “filibuster,” a solution that at least two Democratic senators — Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema — oppose.

After the election of a Republican president, would this party’s senators hesitate to abolish the “filibuster” to pass a law banning abortion on a national scale, which is a possibility? The answer could make Margaret Atwood’s metaphor even more disturbing.

A “slap in the face” for women

Elected US Democrats on Sunday showed their determination to defend the right to abortion. The Supreme Court has “beaten women” by their ability to choose “when” to raise a family and not respecting the “size” of the latter, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi denounced on CBS. “This is so serious, personal and disrespectful to women. Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand pledged to fight for the guaranteed right to abortion and promised ‘not to give up’. “It is the biggest fight of a generation. Under this decision, we would half-citizens. And if it becomes law, it will change the very foundations of America,” she told CNN. Republican-elect Nancy Mace, who opposed abortion, argued for an exception in the case of rape. Nancy Mace explained She admitted that she herself had been raped and told CBS that given the “physical, emotional trauma”, this decision should be made by the woman in question, “her doctor” and “God”.

Media agency France

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