Letter: Canada must guard against abortion decisions like in the US

The Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling is a huge step backwards. They conclude that because the word “abortion” does not appear in the 18th-century U.S. Constitution, it has no legal basis in the 21st century.

Majority opinion states that “such a right is not implicitly protected by any constitutional provision.” That’s not a widely shared legal opinion, but unfortunately it was the opinion of the only five people that mattered.

The majority say what they have done is “return the issue of abortion to the elected representatives” at the state level.

It is not clear how a governor or member of the state assembly qualifies as an elected representative, but not a member of the House of Representatives, Senate, president or vice president. Some are chosen more than others, it seems.

The impact of the court’s right-wing pendulum is already apparent. As of June 27, nine states had already outlawed women’s right to choose, and seven are likely to follow.

It is expected that 26 abortions will eventually be banned or severely restricted. The vast majority are states that routinely vote Republican and supported Trump in 2016 and 2020.

The madness enabled by the Supreme Court ruling is fully visible in Ohio. This is one of the states moving towards an almost complete ban with its Human Life Protection Act. Even pregnancies resulting from rape or incest would not be exempted from the ban.

The bill’s sponsor, Republican State Representative Jean Schmidt, said rape should be considered “an opportunity for that woman, no matter how old or young she is,” to give birth to a child. So rape is really just an opportunity, not a violent attack. The women of Ohio are no doubt grateful for the clarification.

Five Supreme Court justices voted to abolish women’s right to choose, four to keep it. Three of the five were appointed by Trump. All three had modest legal credentials, but appropriate Trump-oriented ideological credentials.

During his Senate hearing in 2018, one of them, Brett Kavanaugh, was charged with sexual assault. The Republican majority in the Senate at the time confirmed him anyway. All three of Trump’s appointees suggested in hearings that they would not tamper with Roe v. Wade. All three lied.

This is Donald Trump’s legacy. With a conservative majority in the Supreme Court, he made a sharp right-wing swing in US case law over the next several decades. We’ve already seen it with Roe v. Wade, and with gun laws.

We need to do everything we can to make sure this doesn’t seep over the border into Canada, as American trends so often do.

Roy Schneider, Regina

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