US: will the Supreme Court overturn abortion rights?
According to the US daily Politico, women in the US could be on the brink of losing the right to abortion. A majority of Supreme Court justices reportedly wrote a draft opinion to this effect. If it becomes law, the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that guaranteed protection of abortion rights for women would be struck down. What is the position of the European press?
Catastrophic for women
The repealing of the right to abortion by the Supreme Court would be disastrous, The Guardian stresses:
“Such a decision will force women to give birth in a country with high maternal mortality rates and no national paid maternity leave; it will risk lives as they access illegal abortions; it will threaten to criminalise vulnerable women and those who help them (and even those who have miscarriages); it will push yet more children into poverty. ... Moreover, it throws into doubt other established rights, such as gay marriage, which are similarly rooted in the right to privacy.”
Hoping for a salutary shock
For Frankfurter Rundschau the prospect of abortion becoming illegal in the US sets off alarm bells:
“It illustrates the power of social restoration initiated by ultra-conservative religious circles in America. Above all, however, it exposes how the Republicans, unlike the Democrats, have been able to advance their goals. ... What remains is the hope of a salutary shock. The overturning of abortion rights could mobilise a counter-movement that prevents the looming loss of a majority in Congress for the Democrats in the mid-term elections this autumn.”
Abortion would become a money issue
Kurier laments the social injustice that such a ruling entails:
“If the judges rule as feared, abortions will become illegal in 26 US states in one fell swoop. Then women will go to prison once more for wanting to be able to decide for themselves about their sexuality, their bodies and their freedom. Then the gap between rich and poor in the US will become even more entrenched because in a crisis situation better-off pregnant women will be able to travel to states where abortions are still possible.”
This will turn abortion law into the main issue in the midterm elections to the US Congress in November, La Repubblica believes:
“President Joe Biden has reacted adopting a combative stance. If the court overturns Roe v. Wade, a federal law on abortion that doesn't exist yet will be at the centre of the vote in the November elections. ... Republicans are counting on the humiliation of the hated feminists and the success of evangelicals and Catholics opposed to the Second Vatican Council to fill the ballot boxes. The six months leading up to the elections will be tough enough, marked by inflation, skyrocketing prices and the war in Ukraine. The crusade against abortion would make them unbearable.”
Not a good example for Europe
El Periódico de Catalunya fears Europe's far-right parties could take the draft opinion as an example:
“If the anti-abortion laws are passed, it will be because in at least some states a majority may exist - if not a social majority then an electoral one - that supports them. ... From a European perspective, the judges' decision will serve as inspiration for the far right, which has traditionally opposed abortion, same-sex marriage and the regulation of assisted suicide - all of which form part of the so-called body politic that the far right has always fought by supporting religious fundamentalisms such as those that are prevalent in the United States. This is where the danger of contagion lies.”