An egregious wrong

The leaked opinion did not mince words. Roe v. Wade “was egregiously wrong from the start,” Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito wrote. Therefore, “it must be overruled.”


Roe v. Wade was not egregiously wrong. Here’s what is: Denying women the right to control their own bodies. Stripping pregnant people of access to fundamental health care. Perpetuating a dangerous history of structural violence against women. Exacerbating deep health and economic disparities and pushing women of color farther and farther behind.

If this draft opinion is finalized, at least 26 states are likely to ban abortion. That would make abortion illegal in huge swaths of the country, and could leave women vulnerable to criminal charges not only for terminating pregnancies, but also for using common forms of contraception. Some legislatures will likely try to bar pregnant people from traveling to states that still permit abortion; one proposal could make it illegal even to give a woman a list of open clinics in nearby states.

That is egregiously wrong.

In a nation that does not mandate paid family leave, a nation where it’s acceptable for states to hoard billions in federal welfare funds instead of disbursing it to needy families, it is astounding to read a draft Supreme Court opinion that cavalierly dismisses a woman’s interest in controlling her reproductive future.

In a nation that does not guarantee universal health care, a nation that tolerates Black women dying in childbirth at the same rate as women in Uzbekistan, it boggles the mind to read a Supreme Court justice declaring that it’s really not much of a burden to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term because some states have “safe haven” laws allowing parents to give up their newborns without repercussions.

This, too, is egregiously wrong.

Please read my commentary on this dangerous opinion in The Emancipator.