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Abortion, America and Reversed History

With the abolition of the Roe v. Wade, America rewinds the time machine and leaves the citizens (American and not) faced with an abyss of further consequences

By acrimonia

Let your will be done. In a manner of speaking at least. On June 24th, 2022, a new Pandora’s Box was opened, which again has a difficult political scenario behind it: the Supreme Court of the United States, holding 213 pages of explanations under the banner of unconstitutionality, made a reversal on the historic ruling Roe v. Wade. As the most important American Trumpian court emphasized, the decision did not establish the practice of abortion illegal, but left it to the legal will of the individual States.

And the individual states then responded to the call: Utah, South Dakota, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas to begin, not to mention the numerous protests, riots and debates that are breaking the United States.

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And the first dramatic consequences were not long in coming: in Texas, literally savoring a pre-war climate, a law of 1925 came back into force, banning abortion and punishing those who resort to it with prison; in Ohio, where the limit for abortion was imposed at six weeks, the case of a ten-year-old girl, a victim of rape and now pregnant just over the limit set, has become tragically emblematic; faced with the impossibility of interrupting the pregnancy, The baby, as well as other cases of women in the same condition, moved to nearby Indianapolis, where the ban has not yet arrived.

But it is a race against time before governments adapt to neighbouring states. 

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The fact is that the historic step backwards of the United States does not appear definitely rained from the sky, nor by a God Father of years of freedom on his own body - "The will of God has been made", Donald Trump said.

The sentence seems to stand out on the American and world scene as a multi-faceted leviathan; faces that bear the features of Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and John Roberts, the six ultra-conservative judges who voted to eliminate the right. It is a Leviathan who, however, has already openly stated that he does not want to stop here and to aim, sooner or later, at "reconsider his past sentences that recognize the rights to access to contraception, homosexual relations and same-sex marriage". Translated into other terms, privacy and, upstream of everything, freedom. 

The abolition of Roe v. Wade already opens the door to a scenario of uncertainties, bearers of huge social disparities: at the New York Times, Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren shared hypothetical measures to circumvent the situation, from the funds to compensate the travel expenses of those who will have to change state to abort, to the opening of clinics in federal lands, away from state jurisdiction. As well as Netflix, Disney, Uber, Levi’s, Nike, Apple, Microsoft are just some big names who decided to pay any travel costs for their employees.

Easier said than done: what will become of self-employed workers? And the large part of the population in precarious economic and working conditions? The drive for generosity from the corporate world also raises a number of important questions: what would become of the right to privacy of thousands of women, who would find themselves even more tied to their employers?

And the amount of sensitive data they should obviously share with them? Would they really be immune from legal trouble? 

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The fear of a witch hunt by the opposing states is already rampant in fact: thousands of women on American soil are uninstalling menstrual tracking apps and erasing any histories on abortion clinics.

All this series of questions at the moment without answer leads back to the head of the problem, which was then the "technicality" from which Roe v. Wade was born: personal freedom. 

It was precisely those words, apparently obvious, of the Fourteenth Amendment that allowed the conclusion of the Jane Roe case in favour of the subsequent judgment: in 1973, appealing to the impossibility of "any State [of] depriving any person of life, freedom or property" relied on the right to free choice in matters of the intimate sphere, which could not but include procreative freedom; here opened up a whole list of further steps forward, including the right to privacy. 

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The words then of Clarence Thomas the day after the judgment, that the Supreme Court has completed the "task of correcting the errors established in some precedents" weighs like a boulder not only on individual legal victories, but on our personal freedoms.
And they weigh even more heavily when you consider that, to get to this point, the most important Court of the United States has set aside a long series of principles, such as impartiality, integrity and continuity.

Certainly in this analysis the foundation of stare decisis (from the Latin, to stay on things decided) stands out, according to which the Court, in making judgments and judgments, should take into account what has been established in the past, except in cases of rare exceptionality and gravity; This is not because of government monolithism, but because of the guarantee of jurisdictional equity, which rises above all political beliefs. 

But then, wanting to widen the question, what would be the echo that could arrive in the Old Continent? Will the EU’s words be enough to keep the law in place?
The problem has, here too, several facets, which do not concern only a general benaltrismo. If we Italians wanted to sleep peacefully on the convenient law 194, we would only need a quick photograph of percentages and studies to realize that the status of abortion between regions is not so rosy.

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Italy occupies a relatively low place among the nations that practice the voluntary interruption of the pregnancy (only in 2020 less than 68 thousand interventions were recorded, a 7.6% less than in 2019), confirming on the one hand a predilection for the use of the abortion pill and, on the other, a very high number of doctors conscientious objectors.

According to a 2012 study by Silvia De Zordo, anthropologist at the University of Barcelona, among the gynecologists opposed to the practice would be counted not only those moved by Catholic faith, but also, and above all, by pecuniary faith and work, so to speak: considering abortion a routine operation and therefore not very rewarding, many, especially primary and objectors, entrust the execution to younger doctors, ensuring that in many hospitals those who practice the operation are few; On the other hand, among the new generations, we then end up declaring ourselves largely opposed to abortion, in order to advance in the career.

Hand in hand with all this, the financial cause: in Italy the voluntary termination of pregnancy is not feasible and therefore not monetizable intra moenia, ie in the domain of the liberal profession of individual gynecologists. 

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The regional disparities are very high: only in the autonomous province of Bolzano 84.5% of doctors profess to be objectors, as well as Abruzzo, with 83.8% or Molise, with 82.8. After analysis, the considerations are many: injustice does not concern the sole oppression of the freedom of every woman to act as she sees fit on her body, but also the loss of the right to privacy and security with regard to our fundamental freedoms.

Freedoms that are swept away in no small measure, in one case, or exploited for the convenience of others and hidden under the veil of the apparent conquest of civil rights.