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The Overturning of Roe v. Wade: Here’s what this will mean

Photo by the UN-aligned design team.

The United States Supreme Court ruled on January 22, 1973, that under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, a person’s choice on whether or not to have an abortion was protected in the United States and could not be criminalized. This constitutional right would stand for nearly 50 years and result in safer abortion procedures and reproductive healthcare that saved lives across the nation. 

While the developing decision was leaked prior to its final release, Roe v. Wade was officially overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court on June 24, 2022, marking the erasure of progress for human reproductive rights in the U.S. and leaving the decision of legalizing abortion up to the states.

What happens now?

With Roe v. Wade being overturned, certain states have taken immediate action to ban or apply restrictions on abortion, such as Oklahoma, Utah, and Texas, with others are following close behind. To ease the growing anxiety concerning other U.S. constitutional rights, the Opinion of the Court has emphasized: 

“… our decision concerns the constitutional right to abortion and no other right. Nothing in this opinion should be understood to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion.”

Despite this statement, worries continue to grow after the opinion of Justice Thomas was released calling for future reconsideration of “all” due process precedents such as Obergefell (same-sex marriage), Griswold (contraception), and Lawerence (same-sex relations) with others like Justice Alito supporting this suggestion. So while the Opinion of the Court highlights their decision as solely concerning abortion rights, the future undoing of other U.S. constitutional rights was indeed a part of the discussion. 

judges who have overturned Roe v. Wade
Who has overturned Roe v. Wade?

How are pregnant individuals impacted?

In overturning Roe v. Wade, the responsible justices have failed to acknowledge how the right to reproductive healthcare like abortion impacts the lives of communities across the nation.  

With the ban or restriction on abortion rights in different states, the U.S. can expect a massive shutdown of abortion clinics throughout the country. These shutdowns include decreased funding for free/ low-cost abortions, travel expenses, and the lack of accessibility to safe abortion procedures. In the case where one is unable to travel out of state for an abortion, pregnant individuals may turn to life-threatening abortion procedures or continue with their pregnancy which may result in struggles for both parent and child in the future.

Today, where the U.S. Constitution no longer protects the right to an abortion, the mental and physical health of pregnant people throughout the nation can be expected to deplete along with increased death and injury rates. 

What does this mean for marginalized communities? 

Marginalized communities in the U.S. who already struggle with access to proper healthcare, such as people of color, immigrants, individuals experiencing houselessness/ low-income situations, the LGBTQIA+ community, and individuals with disabilities, will face intensified hardships under bans or restrictions on abortion care, especially where these identities overlap. 

While some leaders have taken action to protect abortion rights in their states, it is important to call attention to the pregnant individuals who will not receive the same access to reproductive healthcare in their location. 

What is next? 

The overall decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has unfortunately opened doors for the future recall of other human rights protected by the U.S. constitution, such as marriage equality and contraception. Moving forward, we must support those whose rights have been unfairly stripped away by pushing all levels of the government to strive for policymaking that works for and not against the lives of impacted communities. 

Take ownership of UN-aligned

Unlike most organisations, UN-aligned is, primarily, its members. We are the New United Nations and though just a drop in the ocean, for now, we will carry on growing until we will become a force to be reckoned with! The more of us there are, the more chance we have of achieving our aims. Help us by promoting membership to you friends or to people you think have similar values. If every member added another, membership would snowball and we would be unstoppable! We also need active members: people who roll up their sleeves and contribute to the work of the organisation. Some already have, for instance, by writing articles for The Gordian, or offering to help with proofreading.

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The Gordian

EU’s Struggle with Justice: Is the Cart Before the Horse?

Welcome to the July issue of The Gordian. The European Union is a remarkable institution, but the callous exclusivity of the block has risked making the Union a gentlemen’s club, whose head is very much up its own backside. The “Golden Curtain” of Europe is turning it into a fortress, a type of Noah’s Arc that cares little or nothing for the lives of others. In this issue, we will focus on justice across the European block.

This issue offers the usual mix of politics, interviews, culture, and galleries by our UN-aligneders across the world, including Ruby Goldenberg, Carla Pietrobattista, Katharina Wüstnienhaus, Nick Hautamaki, Victoria Davila, Partho Chatterjee and John C. 

The editors are Adrian Liberto and Ariana Yekrangi.

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The Gordian Magazine is a community supported magazine that shares YOUR revolutionary ideas in regards to human rights, animal welfare and environmental protection. Every issue contains global news, opinions and long reads accompanied by striking photography and insightful companion pieces.

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