The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion The meaning of a woman’s right to choose

Books on display at the “Spring into FReadom” rally at Elizabeth Milburn Park in Cedar Park, Tex., on April 20. (Montinique Monroe for The Washington Post)

In her May 4 op-ed, “Democrats have a message. Will they seize it?,” Karen Tumulty wrote that the question for the 2022 elections is whether voters wish to give Republicans the reins to outlaw abortion, restrict voting rights, ban books and airbrush racial history.

Republicans are engaged in a misguided effort to retreat 70 years (almost a third of this country’s history) and return to the 1950s, when minorities knew their place.

This is decidedly not conservative; it is reactionary.

Greg Williams, Columbia

I thought I had no words about the leaked draft Supreme Court opinion. But I found a few.

They want freedom of speech but only if it’s their speech. They want freedom of religion but only if it’s their religion. They want government out of their lives but want to govern women’s bodies. They want law and order, but they think they’re above it. They want patriotism but won’t fight against insurrectionists. They want families first but only their families.

All that has been gained over so many years is being chipped away. Margaret Atwood was prophetic back in 1985. Yes, it could happen here and now.

Susan Pfaff, Nags Head, N.C.

Regarding the May 4 news article “Two GOP senators are on the defensive over their votes in support of justices”:

Like Captain Renault in the movie “Casablanca,” Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) is shocked (shocked!) to find out that the Trump-appointed justices whom she voted to confirm would go back on their statements that Roe v. Wade is settled precedent. What did she expect? In the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump promised his supporters that the reversal of Roe “will happen, automatically” if he were elected and had the opportunity to appoint justices. Furthermore, his nominees seem to have been handpicked by the Federalist Society, a conservative group that favors returning as much power as possible to the states.

Ms. Collins claims to be pro-choice. If the leaked draft opinion from the Supreme Court is any indication of the final ruling, choice will be taken from women living in many states. Draconian trigger laws in some states would prohibit abortion even in the cases of rape or incest.

I hope Ms. Collins can live with herself, although I don’t see how that’s possible.

Susan Weinmann, Rockville

Notwithstanding the eloquence of the language that George F. Will brings to his writing, I was gobsmacked in the third paragraph of his May 4 op-ed regarding the leak of the Alito draft opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade, “Alito’s draft is less a refutation of Roe than a starting over.” I could accept Mr. Will’s reference to the “stench in the building” that would be left from the leaker’s action. However, comparing the early release of a draft document to the horrific action of a traitorous Jan. 6 mob was beyond the pale. Besides, to those paying attention, this document is more Captain Obvious than a surprise.

Historically, most improper disclosures of documents have been quite revelatory, of great moment and beneficial in the long run. I think of the Pentagon Papers, Watergate and, most recently, the brave whistleblowers such as Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, whose divulging of material led to the first impeachment of President Donald Trump. The actions of those public servants were not dangerous to others, for only they were at risk.

Though Mr. Will might not agree, The Post and I believe that “Democracy Dies in Darkness.”

Greg Grapsas, Olney

George F. Will wrote that “the person … who leaked the draft Supreme Court opinion … betrayed the trust of those who gave him or her access to Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr.’s draft opinion overturning Roe” and “probably got into a position to commit this infamous betrayal by swearing never to do such a thing.”

Supreme Court Justices Neil M. Gorsuch, Brett M. Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett did essentially the same thing as the leaker. Justices Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Barrett speciously stated in a variety of ways under oath during their confirmation hearings that they understood Roe to be “settled law” or other terms to that effect. That the legal definition of “settled law” has since come under scrutiny makes the statements no less specious.

Their statements resulted in them now being in a position to commit this infamous betrayal of senators who, based on those specious statements, voted to confirm their nominations to the Supreme Court.

There is still time for Justices Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Barrett to set a more honest and honorable example by refusing to betray the senators who unwittingly voted for their confirmation, the American people and U.S. institutions. To do so they must allow Roe to remain law.

Teri Simpson Lojewski, Berlin, Md.

As a relinquished and adopted adult, I can testify that adoption is no solution for banning abortion. Adoption is painful and complicated at best. Most of our mothers were poor and/or single women living in societies that abandoned and ostracized them. Better solutions include supporting a woman’s right to choose abortion, providing affordable child care and early-childhood education and reinstating the child tax credit. This would turn the “right to life” into the “right to live.”

Nicole Burton, Riverdale Park

The irony of the Supreme Court’s dismay over the breach of its privacy — about a judicial opinion affecting the privacy of millions of Americans if Roe v. Wade is overturned [“Supreme Court will investigate leaked draft of abortion opinion,” front page, May 4] — cannot be overstated.

Emily Pegues, Alexandria