Should the Supreme Court Be Deciding Abortion Rules?

United States Supreme Court. (Image Credit: Joe Ravi)

The Supreme Court is about to make important decisions on abortion rights. The Court is scheduled to hear arguments on Monday, November 1 on two cases involving the new Texas law banning abortions after approximately six weeks of pregnancy, when fetal heartbeat can be detected, which usually happens before one is aware of being pregnant. In addition, the Court is scheduled to hear arguments on December 1 on a similar new law in Mississippi.

The Court’s decisions on these cases could potentially overturn Roe v. Wade, the historic 1973 ruling that established the constitutionality of abortion. Why should a personal healthcare decision like having an abortion – one that is deeply personal and often complex and emotional – be judged by the Supreme Court? The members of the Supreme Court, so-called “justices,” are appointed for life by the President and approved by the Senate. In other words, they are political appointees, and most often whoever is president at the time a vacancy occurs has the power to make an appointment.

To date, all U.S. presidents have been men, and Donald Trump, the most recent of the men to appoint justices had the privilege of appointing three of the nine current justices. Of the Senators who approve these nominations, at present about three-quarters are men and two-thirds are millionaires. Their chosen justices are hardly representative of those who are pregnant or might become pregnant. None of them face the problems of working women who struggle to give their children a safe home, feed them, clothe them and give them love – all of which takes time and attention. The Supreme Court should not have the right to decide the fate of millions of working women.

This judicial system is in no way representative of the people it rules over. It is not only undemocratic; it is inhumane. We have to keep fighting for a decent society that will let abortion be a personal decision, and at the same time care for living children, in short, a society that truly values life.