In a scathing dissent to the Supreme Court’s ruling Friday that overturned Roe v. Wade and wiped out the constitutional guarantee of abortion rights, the justices on the bench’s liberal wing slammed the “draconian” opinion as a decision that will undeniably curtail women’s rights and turn back “their status as free and equal citizens.”
The article goes on to state the following:
Frequently, and with searing language, they concluded that the court’s majority had deemed that women are not deserving of equal protection under the law.
“The majority would allow States to ban abortion from conception onward because it does not think forced childbirth at all implicates a woman’s rights to equality and freedom,” the justices wrote. “Today’s Court, that is, does not think there is anything of constitutional significance attached to a woman’s control of her body and the path of her life.”
The dissent also reads:
Respondents’ argument that this history does not matter flies in the face of the standard the Court has applied in determining whether an asserted right that is nowhere mentioned in the Constitution is never- theless protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. The Solicitor Gen- eral repeats Roe’s claim that it is “doubtful . . . abortion was ever firmly established as a common-law crime even with respect to the destruc- tion of a quick fetus,” 410 U. S., at 136, but the great common-law authorities—Bracton, Coke, Hale, and Blackstone—all wrote that a post- quickening abortion was a crime. Moreover, many authorities as- serted that even a pre-quickening abortion was “unlawful” and that, as a result, an abortionist was guilty of murder if the woman died from the attempt. The Solicitor General suggests that history supports an abortion right because of the common law’s failure to criminalize abortion before quickening, but the insistence on quickening was not universal, see Mills v. Commonwealth, 13 Pa. 631, 633; State v. Slagle, 83 N. C. 630, 632, and regardless, the fact that many States in the late 18th and early 19th century did not criminalize pre-quickening abor- tions does not mean that anyone thought the States lacked the authority to do so.
Instead of seriously pressing the argument that the abortion right itself has deep roots, supporters of Roe and Casey contend that the abortion right is an integral part of a broader entrenched right. Roe termed this a right to privacy, 410 U. S., at 154, and Casey described it as the freedom to make “intimate and personal choices” that are “central to personal dignity and autonomy,” 505 U. S., at 851. Ordered liberty sets limits and defines the boundary between competing interests. Roe and Casey each struck a particular balance between the in- terests of a woman who wants an abortion and the interests of what they termed “potential life.” Roe, 410 U. S., at 150; Casey, 505 U. S., at 852. But the people of the various States may evaluate those interests differently. The Nation’s historical understanding of ordered liberty does not prevent the people’s elected representatives from deciding how abortion should be regulated.