The right to abortion at the heart of the debates before the US presidential election

Anti-abortion protesters outside the Supreme Court in Washington, June 29.

The confrontation remained verbal and the positions clearly irreconcilable: in a face-to-face symbolic of the cultural divide that separates two Americas, demonstrators who came to defend the right to abortion clashed, Saturday, October 17, in front of the Court. Supreme Court in Washington, to anti-abortion activists holding up photos of fetuses and pink “Women with Trump” signs.

This subject, never appeased since 1973, when the Supreme Court gave American women the right to abort until twenty-two weeks of pregnancy, is again at the heart of the debates with the probable arrival at the Supreme Court of the Conservative judge Amy Coney Barrett, known for her opposition to voluntary termination of pregnancy (abortion). The Senate Judicial Affairs Committee must confirm, Thursday, October 22, the appointment of the lawyer proposed by Donald Trump, before a vote, a priori without surprise, by the Senate. During his hearings, Mme Barrett admitted that this constitutional right, guaranteed by Roe v. Wade, was not unassailable. In 2006, the judge, a committed Catholic, signed a text qualifying the 1973 decision as ” barbaric “ and pleaded for his dismissal.

This strong position worries pro-choice activists, such as Sarretta McDonough, a 48-year-old Californian lawyer, who came to demonstrate in Washington with her 15-year-old teenager. “If we lose this fundamental right, the women of my daughter’s generation will lose control over their lives, their choices, their professional career. “

“Go back”

In her office in Birmingham (Alabama), Staci Fox may keep smiling, she too fears the arrival of a sixth conservative judge (out of nine) to the Supreme Court. The director of the family planning organization, which covers Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia, three of the country’s biggest “deserts” in terms of access to abortion, is well placed to measure the recurrent attacks carried out by the republican states against this right.

Will the Supreme Court go so far as to abolish it? No one knows, but Staci Fox, like her counterparts across the country, is preparing for it. If the judges decided to keep this promise made by Mr. Trump to his religious electorate and returned to states the power to legislate on abortion, some 25 million women in nearly thirty “hostile” states would be deprived of it.

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