Christian fundamentalists in the United States are happy right now.
Today Politico reported that a leaked draft Supreme Court opinion indicates that Roe v. Wade, which found a constitutional right to abortion in that 1973 case, is about to be overturned.
The Supreme Court has voted to strike down the landmark Roe v. Wadedecision, according to an initial draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito circulated inside the court and obtained by POLITICO.
The draft opinion is a full-throated, unflinching repudiation of the 1973 decision which guaranteed federal constitutional protections of abortion rights and a subsequent 1992 decision – Planned Parenthood v. Casey – that largely maintained the right. “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Alito writes.
“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” he writes in the document, labeled as the “Opinion of the Court.” “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
This is the first time a Supreme Court opinion has been leaked to the press.
It shows that someone at the court, perhaps a law clerk, recognized how horrible overturning abortion rights will be, and wanted to give a head start to the outrage rather than wait until late June or early July when the abortion decision was expected to be released to the public.
There are decent reasons to oppose abortion and even better reasons to support the right of women to choose an abortion. But a truly lousy reason to be against abortion is that this is what God wants. As in Texas Governor Greg Abbott saying, "Our creator endowed us with the right to life."
Since there is no demonstrable evidence of a creator God (or any other sort of God), obviously there's no basis for claiming to know what God has done or wants people to do.
I can understand why someone objects to abortion. A fetus is a potential human life. But a pregnant woman is an actual human life. Women are at greater risk of dying from pregnancy than from an abortion.
So abortion is justified for that reason, along with other reasons, including simply this being what a woman chooses.
A terrible reason is that an embryo must be treated as a person at conception, which is the teaching of the Catholic Church, according to a BBC article. Obviously a few cells isn't a person. Thus probably the notion of an immortal soul is the reason for viewing those few cells as deserving more protection than the woman in whose womb the cells reside.
Six of the nine justices of the Supreme Court are Catholic, with five of those six being part of the 6-3 conservative majority. The sixth conservative, Neil Gorsuch, is Episcopalian but was raised Catholic.
So even though the final decision on abortion will be couched in legal terms, pretty clearly religious belief plays a large part in how the justices view abortion. Opposition to abortion flows largely from fundamentalist churches.
Those opposed to abortion, even in cases of rape and incest, appear to have won this Supreme Court battle, but the war for women's rights and individual freedom will continue. Hopefully the backlash over the forthcoming Supreme Court decision will lead to voters punishing Republicans at the polls in the November election.