A woman’s liberty interests are unique

The Supreme Court knows who is a woman and who isn’t. Women are those people the government gets to force to bear children against their will. Women are those people who can’t make their own decisions about their own lives. Women are those people whose bodies belong to the state.

Until now, all the court’s abortion decisions have upheld Roe‘s central framework — that women have a constitutional right to an abortion in the first two trimesters of pregnancy when a fetus is unable to survive outside the womb, until roughly between 22 and 24 weeks.

But Mississippi’s law bans abortion after 15 weeks. A separate law enacted a year later would ban abortions after six weeks, and while the six-week ban is not at stake in this case, the state is now asking the Supreme Court to reverse all of its prior abortion decisions and to return the abortion question to the states.

And since Donald Trump (who is a fan of abortion when the fetus is his) appointed three anti-abortion justices to the Court, Roe v Wade is screwed.

[Lawyer Julie Rikelman of the Center for Reproductive Rights] argues that under the amendment’s “explicit protection for liberty,” the court has protected marriage, contraception and intimate relationships, even though those words are not in the Constitution, “just as it has protected the ability to make basic decisions about our bodies for over 100 years.”

“What’s critical to remember,” she contends, “is that the court has long said that a woman’s liberty interests are unique when it comes to pregnancy. Her body and health are deeply affected by pregnancy, as is the course of her life, her ability to work, go to school and to prosper.”

And it’s her body and her health – not the state’s and not the fetus’s.

But the Court is what it is, so we’re going backward.

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