The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion What comes after Roe falls?

A crowd gathered May 3 in front of the Supreme Court after a draft of an opinion was released indicating that Roe v. Wade would be overturned. (Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post)

Abortion opponents say the right to privacy does not exist and that Roe v. Wade should be overturned because of it.

Several cases of settled law could be affected if Roe v. Wade were struck down. The nation could be looking at judicial reviews for gay rights and contraception rights as starters, because if Roe was incorrectly decided, it follows that Lawrence v. Texas and Eisenstadt v. Baird were also decided incorrectly, and every right and privilege that has flowed from those decisions is in jeopardy.

One of the most important things we expect from our Supreme Court is critical thinking. If the court has determined that we have no right to privacy, it opens the door for further and further government invasion of our private lives. It is incumbent upon the justices to think beyond issues and focus on the potential impact of their decisions on the daily lives of the American people.

Eileen McClure Nelson, Burke

The writer is a former board chair of Prochoice Virginia.

It is a devastating time to be a young woman in this country. A warming planet, widening inequality, a never-ending pandemic and now the probable elimination of a woman’s basic right to her own body.

A single polarized political maneuver stole a basic human right of millions. I am often struck by how people in the United States view abortion. As if the choice to end a pregnancy is a frivolous decision made by a godless woman who thinks only of herself.

To those who claim we have reached equality: The idea that women are represented in equal numbers in the workforce and that there is no longer shame for a child born out of wedlock severely misrepresents the great burden of sacrifice imposed on womankind. Whether it be done in the service of a husband, a child or a parent, a woman’s agency is expected to come last. It is easy for many to pat themselves on the back because we no longer live in the worst time to be a woman. But having the ability to hold your head above water doesn’t mean those who come after you are guaranteed to be safe from drowning.

Kara Savitt, Washington

The May 4 Metro article “Court’s draft opinion puts spotlight on abortion in Md. governor’s race” mentioned that the Maryland General Assembly enacted legislation that expands access to abortion providers. It allows physician assistants, midwives and nurse practitioners to perform the procedure, just as they can in 14 other states.

The article failed to mention that the Abortion Care Access Act, which was passed over Gov. Larry Hogan’s (R) veto, also requires insurance providers to provide abortion care without charge or co-payments and prohibits any other undue restrictions on coverage. The new law, the most significant expansion of reproductive rights passed in the past 30 years, not only expands access to abortion services but also ensures that women of all income levels can receive the reproductive health care they need.

Linda K. Foley, Potomac

The writer, a Democrat, represents Montgomery County in the Maryland House of Delegates.

I was just an average college student, taking the bus into Detroit for an appointment with an abortionist. It was the 1960s, and, as I sat on the bus, I felt a deep and abiding anger toward my country, my society and my culture, all of which had put me in this impossible position. I knew I was risking my life to obtain the illegal operation, but it was my decision, my choice, and the abortion was both what I wanted and what I needed to pursue my goals in life.

A few years later, when abortion became legal, I put away the memory of that Detroit bus ride. But now, the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion re-criminalizing abortion has brought it all back, and I feel that anger welling up in me again. How dare they take away my right to physical self-determination! It has been established law for almost half a century.

Sidney Moore, Annapolis

The Post has reported that polls show Americans support Roe v. Wade. Even though the credibility of polls has been tarnished by recent elections, such reliance on opinion polls forgets that the role of the judiciary is not a popularity contest but to rule on the law. Judges should not be moral arbiters, just legal ones.

Abortion advocates should follow the lead of suffragists, who supported the 19th Amendment, and Abraham Lincoln, who fostered the 13th Amendment against slavery. It then would be a part of the Constitution beyond debate.

Michael Hoyt, Silver Spring

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