Is There No More "My Body, My Choice"?1)
On June 24, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Mississippi State law completely banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy was constitutional. The Supreme Court's opinion letter on the ruling stated, "There is no mention of abortion in the Constitution, and such rights are not implicitly protected by any provisions of it." In the end, this ruling allows each state to voluntarily prohibit abortion, and the 'Roe v. Wade ruling' was virtually discarded. In the U.S., based on the 1973 'Roe v. Wade ruling,' abortion has been guaranteed as a legal right for women for about 50 years. This is the result of a constitutional appeal by a woman who had an unwanted pregnancy in 1970 but was unable to have an abortion due to the Texas law at the time banning it. However, the new ruling has changed the stance on abortion bans in the U.S. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 26 out of 50 states in the U.S. will virtually ban abortion. Among them, several states, including Mississippi and Florida, had already set up a 'trigger clause' before the Supreme Court ruling that would immediately outlaw abortion if Roe v. Wade were to be invalidated. Other state governments will also develop legislation to drastically reduce the scope of abortion permits or ban abortions completely. Depending on the different state governments' positions, confusion among American women is inevitable.
Not long after the ruling, problems appeared throughout the U.S. On July 3, The Guardian reported an incident in which a 10-year-old girl, a victim of sexual assault in Ohio, went to Indiana to undergo an abortion. The Ohio government had declared abortion illegal as soon as the Supreme Court announced its ruling. Therefore, it turned out that despite being a victim of sexual assault, she was unable to have an abortion in the state. There have also been problems caused by hospitals' refusal to provide all the services related to abortion. On July 18, CNN reported the story of Marlena Stell, who had been carrying fetal remains in her body for two weeks in Texas. Stell tried to undergo a 'Dilatation and Curettage (D&C)' procedure to remove the fetal remains after she found out that the child had been miscarried. However, she was denied surgery at two hospitals. Hospitals in Texas, fearing punishment, are reported to have refused to provide medical services. As the burden of the ruling is passed on to women, controversy over the right to obtain an abortion is split. Citizens are protesting on the streets, divided into those who demand abortion rights and those who want to maintain the current stance. In politics, despite President Joe Biden signing an executive order to protect abortion rights on July 8, the confrontation between the Democratic party which agrees with him and the Republican party which doesn't is expected to continue.
1) Ann Yujung, ""The Dead Fetus Was in the Body for Two Week"...the U.S. Abortion Laws Prevent Her From Miscarriage Treatment", MBN News, July 18, 2022