By Melanie Nathan, ED of African Human Rights Coalition , May 04, 2022
The leaked draft opinion written by Justice Alito of the Supreme Court of the United States, directly overturning Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, is alarming and has a direct impact on LGBTQI+ Americans and the global milieu for all LGBTQ+ people, noting that the World sees U.S progress in equality as an imperative beacon of hope, and much more. Progress leads the world for change and when America winds back to draconian times when women were once slaves to the demands made of their bodies - controlled by the will of men, it impacts the world!
While the opinion is not the final opinion of the Supreme Court, it indicates the end of a federal constitutional right to abortion in the U.S. It also signals a radical erosion of much of the constitutional support underlying the rights to contraception and marriage equality and protections against the criminalization of sex through sodomy laws. This is a wake up call beyond the harm of the reversal that will trigger statewide abortion bans around the USA. It will result in thousands of Americans who will become internally forcibly displaced, akin to refugees in their own country. Most impacted will be poor people and people of color.
This draft opinion all but guarantees a final decision that will negatively impact the LGBTQ community.
In following the Williams Institute research we are informed that the majority of LGBTQ people are women and people who can become pregnant and that LBQ women of childbearing age access abortion services at similar rates to heterosexual cisgender women.
In the draft opinion, Justice Alito writes, “The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision.” The hostility to rights not specifically mentioned in the constitution also puts at risk the Supreme Court’s decisions in Lawrence and Obergefell. While the draft opinion purports to not reach beyond abortion and arguments remain to distinguish those rights, the Supreme Court has now shown itself antagonistic to this entire line of cases. This is only a small quick glimpse at the impact of what this draft entails. The greatest fear is how this opinion chips at an already fragile American democracy. It calls into question solid legal principles such as STARE DECISIS. We though we could depend and rely on SCOTUS - and now the rug is pulled from under our feet - and we are left feeling like SCOTUS is rogue. Rogue in the sense that it no longer reflects an iota of independence, as through the mechanism of political appointment, we MUST expect that Justices will rule politically and not based on the law and the critical jurisprudence that is supposed to transcend politics.
There is no time more important in the USA than now for the EQUALITY ACT to protect LGBTQI equality in every realm, as well as for Congress to pass the current Reproductive Rights Legislation to protect every woman's right to have an abortion, should she choose. We MUST protects women's freedoms and gay, lesbian, trans and intersex and queer and non-binary freedoms, and all our rights to privacy. It is enough punishing with uncertainty. ...... this battle must be over.