Justice Alito’s Majority Draft Concerning Roe V. Wade
In response to Justice Samuel Alito’s leaked initial majority draft for the Supreme Court, the Portland Japanese American Citizens League would like to voice our support for reproductive freedom for all. We at the JACL believe that abortion is a deeply personal decision that a person makes after serious contemplation with regards to their own health, values, and personal sense of ethics. While not official, Justice Alito’s draft could be a harbinger of what is to come- the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Up until now, Roe v. Wade has protected the right to abortion in all fifty states up until fetal viability (about twenty-four weeks). While overturning Roe v. Wade does not prohibit abortion on a federal level, states will be able to individually make the decision to outlaw the medical procedure.
In summation, people with uteruses in pro-choice states will have access to abortion. Socioeconomically well-off people with uteruses in pro-life states will have access to abortion as they can travel to pro-choice States, like Oregon, that will continue to give access to abortion. However, people in pro-life states who are socioeconomically disadvantaged will not have access to abortion. In many pro-life states this population is overwhelmingly People of Color. Limiting rights that disproportionately affects communities of color and poor communities only reinforces the racism and classicism in our country.
Furthermore, contrary to what Justice Alito claimed in the majority draft, the right to an abortion does not exist in a vacuum outside of other civil rights. Roe v. Wade, a ruling based on the Fourteenth Amendment (“No State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law…”), is one of several unenumerated rights guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment. Other unenumerated rights include the right for people to marry a different race, the right to marry a person regardless of their gender, and the right to vote. Justice Alito’s reasoning for the dissolution of Roe v. Wade does not just undermine reproductive freedom, it also undermines all unenumerated rights as well.
Per Executive Director of the JACL, David Inoue, “We cannot be a United States of America if not everyone in our nation holds the same rights.”