A Letter To The Supreme Court
Updated: Jun 1, 2022
On behalf of all people with uteruses, I would like to personally thank whoever leaked the draft opinion that tipped Americans off to the injustices that continue to happen within our court system.
The joy Americans felt when the first Black Woman was voted into the Supreme Court was indeed short-lived; the leaked draft opinion denoted the majority of the members of the Supreme Court are in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade.
At the time Roe v. Wade enraged church officials and senators alike, especially down south. The United States started out as many individual countries that came together to form one nation, which is why rules and regulations differ from state to state. Hence, each state was allowed to let the people decide on how they would handle abortion — or more like each elected state representative and whatever religion came along with them.
Roe v. Wade was historic because it was the first time the Supreme Court had declared a woman's right to choose was protected under constitutional law. Many states had voted on allowing legal abortion under certain circumstances such as the stage of the pregnancy while other states did not have such requirements in place. Roe v. Wade made it so the decision was no longer up to individual states. The Supreme Court ruled that denying Women access to safe abortions was going against their natural rights, angering southern Pro-Life senators.
To those who oppose a woman’s right to choose: why must you involve yourselves in the lives of others?
No one is imposing their religious or personal beliefs onto your life. You maintain the natural right to practice, promote, and profit off your beliefs. However, when you impose those core values you hold so dear onto a fetus, you rip bodily freedom away from those who deserve it. A uterus is not a removable accessory that can be spoken about without relation to a living, breathing human being. A child requires resources not all Americans have access to and requires their parents to go above and beyond for their physical and mental well-being. It is dangerous to put a child in the arms of parents who do not want it.
Justice Alito splits the American people into three categories: those who are against abortion due to moral beliefs, those who are for abortion, and those who believe abortion should be allowed under certain circumstances. In the draft opinion, Alito implies that prior to Roe v. Wade, states were already opening up to the possibility of allowing some access to safe abortions. He made it seem like Roe v. Wade was too controversial and would cause tension and bitterness within our political system. He insinuated that the court's decision made the problem worse by simply inciting unrest. The rights of people with uteruses should not be “gradually” introduced into law. It is not controversial for women and gender non-conforming people with uteruses to have the same rights as a white cisgender men in America. This conversation also extends to the intersection between gender and abortion laws. Not all women give birth, and transgender people in these states with trigger laws are at increased risk if an abortion ban is passed. People's liberties are being targeted and all Justice Alito can think about is what he can take away from the American people.
These issues carry a racial component as well. In the United States, Black Women are the largest demographic of people getting abortions. States protecting “potential life” are only making it that much harder for Black Women to thrive in a country that was not built for them. Now, these states are talking about using menstrual tracking apps as evidence in a court of law to prove that a resident of their states had an abortion.
The main argument in the draft opinion is that abortion is not explicitly discussed in the constitution, which was written by and for white men. The reason a woman's right to abortion is not protected by the constitution is that it was not written for women, let alone women of color. The Constitution was written in the blood of enslaved people. It was never meant to protect them.
It is up to us to decide if we will stand by this antiquated Eurocentric mentality. White men may have written this country into existence for themselves, but that does not mean we cannot redefine what it means to be an American.
Americans are brave and we fight for what we believe in. This includes listening to those we do not agree with. If we take away our opponent’s right to speak, we might as well take away our own. There are people who strongly disagree with abortion. Their mistake was making that choice for those around them.
The fight for safe abortions nationwide is an ongoing battle. There is a balance between individual freedom and legislation. Those in power cannot pick and choose when rights are applicable to citizens. Safe abortion is a right that all Americans should have access to. The only difference we will see after this decision gets overturned is the bodies littering the streets. Your comfort is not worth our suffering.
Edited by: Yumna Elhdari and Ava Emilione
Photo Credit: Jasmine LeCount-McClanahan