US Supreme Court made an unpredictable decision on 24th June by overturning a landmark judgment on Law of abortion for Americans i.e., Roe v. Wade 1973 which was made by 6-3 majority. The judgement gave the constitutional right to the subjects which was taken away.
Let's take a detailed look into Roe v. Wade 1973.
The plaintiff in this case is referred simply as a Roe which is a listed name of a girl of 22 years old actually named as ‘Norma McCorvey’ and the defendant wade was named as ‘Henry wade’ who was the Dallas country district attorney. The case struck down the laws related to abortion making it illegal in several states. It was ruled that abortion would be permitted up to the point of fetal viability (period after which fetus can survive outside the womb). The period of Fetal viability at the time of Roe judgement was approx. 28 weeks (7 months) but now according to medical science the medicines put it down to 23-24 weeks (6months or little less). Fetal Viability is a point at which rights of pregnant women and the unborn fetus get separated. One Majority opinion of justice Samuel Alito was supported by four other conservative judges i.e., Neil Gorsuch, Amy Coney, clarence Thomas, Brett Kavanaugh was written in Mississippi case. Alito’s opinion overruled the Roe judgement from the beginning and held that both the landmark judgement Roe and Casey 1992, which confirmed the basic tenet of Roe that women’s have a right of pregnancies termination up to the fetal viability should not be considered. Justice John G Roberts has also voted against the Roe judgement. There were three democratic appointed justices who dissented the majority opinion of overruling Roe decision they are – Justices Stephen, Breyer, Sonia, Elena Kangana. The majority contented that it is the time to return the issues of abortion to the elected representatives of the people.
In 2018, Mississippi state’s Republican-majority legislature banned most abortions after 15 weeks-long before embryo viability and before being allowed by Roe-making a direct challenge to the 1973 ruling. The Jackson women’s Health organization which is the last remaining abortion clinic in the state providing abortion services up to 16 weeks of pregnancy challenged the law and in November of similar year U.S district judge Carlton rejected it and ruled that it is violated the constitutional rights of women.
The republican governor, on march19, 2019 signed the Heartbeat abortion law which banned most abortion once the fetal cardiac activity could be detected which is about six weeks. The governor challenged the opponents of the law. The heartbeat law states that whoever will perform an abortion after the fetal heartbeat is detected his medical licenses will be cancelled and there are no exceptions in case of pregnancies by Rape or incest. The law is again blocked by district judge. In New Orleans, 5th circuit court of appeals agreed with the judgement. When 2018 law reached the supreme court it was indicative that the hearing will be made on December 2021 but ultimately the decision came on June 24 ,2022.
In India, the law relating to abortion is India’s Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act 1971 which permits abortion up to 20 weeks of pregnancy but in 2021 an amendment is made through which the limitation period was raised to 24 weeks but only for exceptional cases and special categories of women’s such as rape, incest survivors, minors, disabled women’s with the approval of two registered doctors. In case where there is Fetal disability there is no time limit for abortion but was permitted by the medical board constituting of specialist’s doctors set up by the state government and Union. Abortion is entirely prohibited and criminalized approximately in 16 countries but some of the catholic majority nations recently decriminalized abortions.
Health experts and Gender rights activist in India have opposed the decision of US Supreme Court of going against the Roe v. Wade judgement which recognizes the women’s constitutional right to abortion. They stated that decision is of deep concern as it could promote regressive ideas in society. Executive director of Population of India propounded that ‘It is a hurdle for the movement to protect women’s sexual and reproductive health rights. This is a full attack on the women’s rights and women’s all over the world should be concerned’. According to the experts the decision that reproductive right is not a fundamental right can lead to worrying interpretation in different countries. In India Major fetal deformation, failed contraception, injury to mental and physical health of women are taken as valid grounds for abortions. Similarly, many doctors, social activists, social worker, gynecologists have propounded against the ruling of the US Supreme Court which became wider discussing matter.