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Roe vs. Wade is overturned: Voices on abortion rights and American life

Demonstrators gather in front of the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on May 3, 2022.
A demonstrator cries in front of the Supreme Court last month.
(BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / AFP via Getty Images)
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Op-Ed: How to move forward after the destruction of Roe vs. Wade

There are virtually no precedents in American law in which a right — declared fundamental by the Supreme Court — was erased. While the court has overhauled constitutional protections before, the complete retraction of the right to abortion sets the nation on a course it has never seen.

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Op-Ed: The Supreme Court is not accountable to the people. So what can check its power?

If Supreme Court justices had to run for reelection, a number of them would be in big trouble. Last week the court issued radical decisions that boldly defied American opinion on both abortion and guns. It overturned Roe vs. Wade and about 20 other cases that had protected the right to abortion for a half-century. And in the wake of some of the worst mass shootings in American history, it struck down a New York law dating to 1911 that required people to demonstrate a need before being authorized to carry a gun in public.

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Op-Ed: I’ve had an illegal abortion and a legal abortion. The experiences couldn’t have been more different

There is a huge difference between illegal and legal abortions. I know. I had one of each.

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Op-Ed: Why I’m telling my abortion story now

I am an outspoken advocate for gender equality and women’s rights, and as the leader of Planned Parenthood in California, the state’s largest network of community health centers providing sexual and reproductive healthcare, it would seem obvious that I’m not afraid of the word “abortion.”

But I haven’t always spoken it directly. And until now, I haven’t told my own abortion story.

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Op-Ed: Ending Roe is a pure exercise of Republican power, wielded to reduce women’s freedom and equality

Freedom and equality have expanded enormously over the course of American history, which makes the ending of a constitutional right virtually unprecedented.

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In Dobb’s vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the court overruled a half-century of decisions protecting a constitutional right of women to choose whether to end their pregnancies. The decision must be understood as entirely about the conservative desire to end abortion rights and not about constitutional principles or judicial methodology.

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Op-Ed: I am the product of rape. Here’s why I support abortion rights

“I wish you had never been born. I should have had an abortion.”

I can’t remember the first time my mother told me that. But I do remember the first time I responded differently, other than freezing in place or bursting into tears.

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Op-Ed: My wife’s abortion was a painful choice. Now as a father, I worry my daughter won’t get to choose

In 1997, my wife Janie and I welcomed our first child, a healthy daughter born after an uncomplicated pregnancy. The baby thrived and became the light of our lives.

A year later, we tried for another child, but Janie suffered a first-trimester miscarriage. Two more first-trimester miscarriages followed. We wanted more children but wondered whether trying yet again was worth risking more physical and emotional trauma.

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Op-Ed: The end of Roe will be a death sentence for many Black women

I am shocked but not surprised. And I am angry.

For all women in the United States, the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade will reverse half a century of progress in women’s healthcare.

For Black women, this decision represents something even more sinister. For us, losing access to legal abortion could spell the difference between life and death

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Op-Ed: We watched history go in reverse on Friday in Washington

My wife canvassed for the Equal Rights Amendment as a teenager. Both of us have marched for abortion rights. We consider Roe vs. Wade to be fundamental, but we also understood that it would be overturned.

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Op-Ed: I hid my pregnancy from the internet so I know: Online privacy is nearly impossible

More than 2.5 million unintended pregnancies were reported in the U.S. between 2014 and 2019. Many of those women probably read pregnancy articles online, browsed Planned Parenthood’s website, triple-checked their period tracker or confided in their best friend over Facebook Messenger.

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The best way to protect abortion rights? Finalize the Equal Rights Amendment

When Roe vs. Wade was decided in 1973, it was rooted in rights that flow from privacy — not equality. As the country has now seen in the leaked Supreme Court draft ruling, that right to privacy is about to be demolished.

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Op-Ed: The Supreme Court flunks abortion history

But the most shocking aspect of the leaked opinion is something else entirely: the glaring historical mistakes that pervade its supposedly originalist analysis. Contrary to the draft’s conclusion, for as long as America has existed, so too have abortions — in most cases free of any form of criminal punishment.

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Op-Ed: As a lifelong abortion rights activist, I am terrified of our society moving backward

A woman’s choice whether or not to bear a child lies at the very core of her being, and when politicians seize control of that choice, she is relegated to second class citizenship and deemed incapable of making her own life decisions.

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Op-Ed: Leave abortion law to the states? Just look at the Fugitive Slave Act to see how that will go

Why not leave abortion to the states?

One of the most common arguments made by those who want to downplay the significance of Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr.’s leaked draft opinion in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health is that it would not make abortion illegal. Rather, it would merely return the abortion debate to the legislative sphere, where it belongs. Individual states would pass their own abortion laws, as restrictive or nonrestrictive as their electorate wants them to be.

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Op-Ed: Pregnancy is risky. Losing access to abortion puts women’s lives at stake

As the United States struggles with the imminent demise of Roe vs. Wade, politicians and voters need to remember one thing ahead of the midterm elections: Abortion saves women’s lives.

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Op-Ed: Texas gives us a glimpse into a world without abortion care training

We’re getting a clearer picture every day of the devastating effect of Texas’ near-total abortion ban. Many people are traveling out of state to get abortion services, and some have come to San Francisco, where I work. With the Supreme Court now poised to overturn the constitutional right to abortion in a matter of weeks, the national impact will be enormous as many more states ban abortion care.

One consequence we haven’t fully reckoned with is how these antiabortion laws will affect the training of healthcare workers.

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Op-Ed: What the U.S. can learn from Stalin’s abortion ban

As the right to get an abortion in the United States is whittled away, state by state and statute by statute, we can learn important lessons about the impact of its repression from the history of one country where it was first legalized — and then re-criminalized.

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Column: They’re coming for abortion. Next it will be gay marriage and birth control

Last week, I got an earful from readers who were angry that I defended peaceful protests at the homes of three conservative Supreme Court justices, who with their conservative brethren, appear to be on the verge of overturning Roe vs. Wade.

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Op-Ed: Only states can stop antiabortion ‘crisis pregnancy centers’ from deceiving consumers

One trend that’s already troubling is the proliferation of crisis pregnancy centers, or CPCs, in California and nationwide. These antiabortion organizations target low-income people facing unintended pregnancies. Their goal is not to provide care, but to prevent people from accessing abortion and contraception.

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Op-Ed: A retro reading of the Constitution imperils many rights beyond abortion

The right to abortion is what’s known as an “unenumerated” right, meaning that it has constitutional stature even though no text in the Constitution — short of the abstract “liberty” protected by the Fourteenth Amendment — protects it. The idea of such unwritten rights may seem puzzling, but it’s well-established in our constitutional system.

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Op-Ed: The pendulum is swinging back, reversing hard-won sexual freedoms and civil rights

The leaked Supreme Court opinion by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., which would overturn Roe vs. Wade, marks a devastating setback for reproductive justice in the United States. It also highlights how bound up the right to abortion is with other fundamental sexual freedoms and civil rights. Whatever happens in the wake of this likely decision, we are already witnessing the undoing of more than a century of successful efforts to expand and protect individual rights to sexual and gender self-expression.

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Op-Ed: Conservative Christians will regret overturning Roe. They’re sacrificing religious liberty to do it

The imminent overturning of Roe vs. Wade is a disaster for women. It is also a disaster for the Catholic Church, whose hierarchy in America has made opposition to abortion central to its mission.

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Column: The right to abortion is deeply rooted in the Constitution and flows from amends for slavery

Now that we’ve had a moment to digest the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion overturning Roe vs. Wade, one thing is clear: Words have lost their meaning.

The court’s three newest justices, Neil M. Gorsuch, Brett M. Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, all said under oath during their confirmation hearings they believed that the two major rulings upholding the federal right to abortion — Roe vs. Wade and Planned Parenthood vs. Casey — were settled law.

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Op-Ed: What we can learn from one of California’s most successful abortion providers

For more than two decades, I researched the life of Inez Burns, one of America’s most successful abortion providers. Burns lived in California and terminated more than 50,000 pregnancies when abortion was illegal across the U.S. While the Supreme Court weighs whether to overturn Roe vs. Wade, Burns’ cautionary story underscores a basic, undeniable truth: Banning abortions will do little to stop women from having them.

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