Striking Down Roe v Wade is an Attack on All Our Rights to Privacy

The blatantly political opinion written by Justice Alito to justify striking down Roe v Wade, was not just about abortion. Under Roe, a right to privacy (including making private choices) for individual persons was assumed to be intended by the Bill of Rights. (The 9th Amendment recognizes individual rights that were not explicitly stated in the U.S. Constitution.) Roe therefore provided to each woman (NOT the government) the choice of whether to risk her health in carrying a pregnancy to term. In the final 3 months of pregnancy or when a fetus is capable of living on its own separate from its mother (i.e., viability) the government has an interest in protecting that future person and can restrict abortions to narrow purposes (however, not a total ban).  In addition, the same right to privacy requires the confidentiality of all medical records, including records of the abortion medical procedure.

Under Alito’s edict, no privacy right exists and the GOVERNMENT in the form of state legislatures can take the right of choice from all women. If the right to privacy can be denied to women, other rights we assume to be private matters can also be denied. Consider: Who you can marry? What your sexual preferences or determinations are? What medical treatments you can have? What medical treatments you HAVE undergone? Remember, if the government can dictate that a woman be forced to carry to term a pregnancy against her wishes, they can, on another day with another government in charge, dictate that a woman undergo an abortion for a child she wants (See China for details). Alito’s opinion is about authoritarian (and evangelical religious) government rule over the individual privacy rights of women.  By logical extension, it attacks the rights of privacy and religious freedom enjoyed by all Americans.

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