If there is one thing in the United States that almost everyone cares about, it is human rights. Yet it is also the most controversial issue in the country. In this article, we will examine Roe V. Wade, the recent Supreme Court decision overturning it, and its possible impact on immigrants in the country. Let’s begin by examining what Roe V. Wade is.
What is Roe V. Wade?
Roe V. Wade is a landmark 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of state laws that criminalize or restrict abortion rights. At that time, the Court ruled that under the Due Process Clause, the right to privacy, which derives from the Fourteenth Amendment, implicates a woman’s right to decide whether to continue her pregnancy. However, the court went on to state that this right must be balanced against the state’s interest in regulating abortion.
● The Case
In 1972, Norma McCorvey (1947-2017), nicknamed Jane Roe because she did not want to disclose her identity took action against, Henry Wade, then the Dallas, Texas Supreme Court Attorney over the state law banning abortion in 1970.
His attorney’s argument was based on the fact that the state’s anti-abortion law was vague and violated the First, Fourth, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution. In January 1973, the Supreme Court voted in favor of Rode (7 for and 2 against). Although Roe’s desire to allow any woman to abort a fetus under any circumstances and at any time was rejected, the Court’s decision was very pro-abortion.
In other words, any state law regarding abortion should be analyzed in light of the Roe V. Wade decision. What are the implications of such a decision for abortion law in the United States?
Since this decision took place, abortion has become a big topic in the country and apparently it will continue to be so. Aside from the undecideds, the country was divided into two: the pro-vies who are vehemently against abortion in all cases and the pro-choicers who are for abortion.
Pro-choicers see Roe V. Wade as a decision that promotes equality between men and women, while pro-lifers believe that the Supreme Court read into the constitution what it wanted to read into it and that the framers of the constitution never intended to grant the right to abortion. Moreover, since then, every state bill to regulate abortion has been criticized for being too harsh or too lenient on one side or the other.
Anyone who criticizes a state law is referring to Roe V. Wade. Apparently, based on Roe V. Wade, immigrants who are generally living in precarious conditions find it easy to abort any pregnancy that might be a source of unexpected expense for them or endanger their lives since they don’t have much money to care for themselves when they are pregnant.
Repeal of Roe and Wade
In 2021, the state of Mississippi, which plans to limit abortion to less than 15 weeks of pregnancy, asked the Supreme Court to consider overturning Roe V. Wade. Thousands of nurses, feminists, liberal and pro-choice advocates have called on the Supreme Court to uphold the law instead.
On June 24, 2022, the Court issued its decision: Rode V. Wade is overturned! Because this decision has been the basis or precedent for almost every decision made by the Supreme Court and other courts in the country over the past fifty years, all of these decisions will be affected. Many people believe that this will have a negative impact on immigrants.
How might the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe V. Wade impact immigrants in the United States?
The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe V. Wade will undoubtedly impact many areas of life and trample on fundamental rights such as:
● The right to a decent life.
Immediately following the release of the Court’s decision, many institutions, journalists, and opinion leaders are expressing concern about this issue. According to the Refugees And Immigrant Center for Education and legal Services (RAICES), by overturning Roe V. Wade, the Court is deteriorating civil and human rights and “could put immigrants at risk.
To prove its point, the institution stated that immigrants already struggle to meet their basic needs and therefore, depriving them of the possibility of abortion would be placing them under a heavier yoke.
Vanesa Sarazúa, CEO of the Hispanic Alliance of Georgia, also expressed concern about immigrants who are not yet eligible for federal prenatal care programs, saying that they may come out of their pregnancies in debt because they cannot help but pay $150 a month for their care while pregnant.
Other organizations whose mission is to help immigrants who have been raped on their way to the United States and those seeking abortions also face a major dilemma. Should they continue to do so and risk being sued by anyone in their state (if they live in a state where abortion was nearly banned) now that there is no federal umbrella to help them?
Laura Molinar, a San Antonio-based leader of Sueños Sin Fronteras de Tejas, puts it this way: “We are going to do whatever we have to do to support someone in this decision. These are the laws, but these are things that we believe in and that our organization is based on. ”
● The right to education is at risk.
In 1982, the Supreme Court made another landmark decision, Plyler V. Doe, in favor of using public funds for immigrant education. If today the Supreme Court overturns Roe V. Wade on the grounds that the framers of the Constitution did not mean such a thing called abortion rights, the odds are high that Plyler V. Doe could be overturned on similar grounds.
They may argue that the right to education did not exist in the minds of those who wrote the Constitution. The result will be a restriction on the right to education for immigrants.
● The benefits of immigrant marriage are at stake.
The current Supreme Court could end up overturning the 2015 decision in favor of LBTQ marriage and all the rights that come with it, such as LGBTQ people receiving the same marriage benefits as heterosexuals. It is unpredictable what can happen to immigrants in these situations.
While right-to-life advocates are pleased with the recent Supreme Court decision on Roe V. Wade, right-to-life advocates and other more open-minded groups see it as a regression in the protection and promotion of human rights. Immigrants are likely to be seriously affected by this decision. We hope that the federal government will take appropriate measures to protect them.
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