Of the nine justices sitting on the current court, five were appointed by presidents who initially lost the popular vote; four of those judges signed onto the majority opinion that overturned Roe, and one penned a separate concurrence to uphold the Mississippi anti-abortion law. The three appointed by Donald Trump were confirmed by senators who represent a minority of Americans. A majority of this court, in other words, were not appointed by a process that is representative of the will of the American people.
Two were appointed via starkly undemocratic means, put in place by bad actors willing to change the rules to suit their needs. Neil Gorsuch only has his seat because Republicans, led by Mitch McConnell, blocked the ability of Barack Obama to nominate Merrick Garland – or anyone – to a supreme court seat, claiming that, because it was an election year, voters should get to decide. And then Donald Trump appointed Amy Coney Barrett in a radically rushed and incomplete, incoherent process – in an election year.
And now, this court, stacked with far-right judges appointed via ignoble means, has stripped from American women the right to control our own bodies. They have summarily placed women into a novel category of person with fewer rights not just than other people, but than fertilized eggs and corpses. After all, no one else is forced to donate their organs for the survival of another – not parents to their children, not the dead to the living. It is only fertilized eggs, embryos and fetuses that are newly entitled to this right to use another’s body and organs against that other’s will; it is only women and other people who can get pregnant who are now subject to these unparalleled, radical demands.
This raises a fundamental question: can a country be properly understood as a democracy – an entity in which government derives its power from the people – if it subjugates half of its population, putting them into a category of sub-person with fewer rights, freedoms and liberties?
Michael Moore: The Forced Birth Ruling
The American Judiciary is ‘pro-life’ and loves guns. Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition
Rhiannon Cosslett – Let’s call the overturning of Roe v Wade what it is: state-sanctioned forced birth
We need to start calling abortion bans what they are: state-sanctioned forced birth on a monumental scale, which includes forcing children to give birth. I am not even in America, but the news felt visceral, as vicious misogyny often does. If you have ever been pregnant, the thought of being made to go through it – not to mention labour – against your will can make you feel physically sick. I felt like vomiting, then I cried. The same thing happened when Poland banned it, in January 2021.
And that will be nothing compared with how women in the US must feel now, as Polish women must have felt then: women who are expected to go about their daily lives as normal when their bodily autonomy has been taken from them, who overnight have become second-class citizens, who must walk alongside those who seek to punish them. And punishment it is. The punishment is the point, as they say. No one is stupid enough to believe this decision will result in an end to abortion….