Commentary abortion ruling in the usa: shysters punished

Republican-led states are trying to undermine vested rights. For them, the ruling is a punishment. But they are not giving up.

Bland aftertaste: Demonstrators in front of the Surpreme Court Photo: dpa

It is an important victory for women’s rights, what the US Supreme Court announced on Monday. By a vote of five to three, the justices declared unconstitutional legislation in Texas that had made it unbearably difficult for women to obtain an abortion.

And yet the ruling leaves a stale aftertaste. If conservative Justice Antonin Scalia had not died in February, but his colleague Anthony Kennedy, also already 80 years old, the vote would now have been four to four. This would have automatically upheld the lower court ruling that rubber-stamped the Texas laws. An absurdity.

Not even the Texas politicians who had campaigned for the laws made any serious attempt to conceal their concern. They superficially claimed that they were concerned about women’s health, only to babble in the next breath about a world without abortion, to which the laws should contribute.

In this way, they have literally fulfilled what the Supreme Court ruled inadmissible many years ago: imposing unnecessary burdens on women in the exercise of their guaranteed right to abortion.

There should have been no discussion about this at all – because actually the legal situation here is clear.

But the real world is different. More and more Republican-led states are trying to undermine vested rights through executive laws. This is not only about the right to abortion, but also about gay marriage, for example. When it comes to abortions alone, there are comparable plans and regulations in nearly two dozen other states, though not to such a strict extent as in Texas.

For all of them, to be sure, the ruling is a punishment. However, there is nothing to suggest that they will not continue to try.

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