Women`s Issues/Abortion rights
Hi Ms. Pressman Fuentes. I read in the paper the other day that the state of Oklahoma had voted in favor of a law that would outlaw abortion (with no exceptions). I am not American, but I thought that the US Supreme Court decision Roe V. Wade prohibited states from criminalizing abortion, stating that women had a constitutional right to safe and legal abortion? I am very confused, and absolutely stunned that abortion could actually be criminalized in the year 2016! It is like we are going backwards instead of moving forward. I find it very disheartening, not to mention infuriating. I feel very lucky to live in a country where I have the right to choose (our Prime Minister is very pro-choice) but am concerned for American women. I am also perplexed as to why this was not a much bigger story. The media seems to have all but ignored this. Where is all the outrage? This is outrageous! I certainly hope that groups like Planned Parenthood, NARAL, the ACLU etc. will challenge this law ASAP. Clearly this violates Roe V. Wade, and I am sure the legislators in Oklahoma know this. They have to know that this will not withstand a legal challenge. So why do it? Thank you for your time.
My last name is Fuentes, not Pressman Fuentes; Pressman is my middle, and maiden, name.
You can read about Roe v. Wade here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roe_v._Wade
I share your outrage as do other feminists. Roe v. Wade didn't, however, prohibit all state action in Roe v. Wade situations and the states have enacted a great many laws that chip away at Roe v. Wade. Fortunately, the Oklahoma governor did not sign the bill of which you write, but she wanted to. Advisors, however, convinced her that there were too many problems with the bill.
I do not know why our Supreme Court has permitted all these laws that chip away at Roe v. Wade other than that it is a court that in recent years has leaned to the conservative side. Things will get much worse if a Republican President like Trump is elected who will appoint conservative Supreme Court justices. If that were to happen, Roe v. Wade would in effect or in reality be overturned altogether.
This is a big story in the U.S. There are articles about it all the time, and women protesting all the time. There is also an ongoing onslaught against Planned Parenthood and states continually remove funding from that organization.
Not only are we going backwards with regard to abortion; we are going backward with regard to contraception. We had a big case here involving Hobby Lobby that involved an employer's right not to provide coverage for contraception for its employees. There was a second case up recently that people hoped might establish some good law, but the Supreme Court instead of deciding it told the parties to attempt to compromise and sent it back to the lower court. The Supreme Court currently has only eight, instead of the usual nine, justices, so when there is a tie, no decision can be made. That is because the Republicans have refused to even give a hearing to President Obama's nomination of Judge Garland to fill the vacancy caused by Justice Alito's death.
I share your concern but we are a large country with over 300 million people in it and many of them, sadly, are conservatives and many want to control women and their bodies.