82.1 F
Saturday, June 22, 2024
HomeCommentaryDon't let a Supreme Court leak threaten what consensus we have on...

Don’t let a Supreme Court leak threaten what consensus we have on abortion


Related stories

Foolishness As a Mirror

Explore the ancient spiritual concept of "holy fools" - eccentric figures who renounced worldly possessions to challenge society's norms and promote deeper faith across religions like Christianity, Eastern Orthodox, and more. Discover their radical role.

A Pilgrim Returns from Catholic Pilgrimage, Heart and Faith on Fire

A profound personal account of spiritual awakening and miracles experienced at the historic first Catholic National Eucharistic Pilgrimage in Idaho. The author shares how encountering the Blessed Sacrament in procession reignited their love for Jesus and the Eucharist, sparking a renewed hunger to deepen their faith journey.

Jewish Voices Protest Israeli Violence, Build Interfaith Solidarity in Spokane

Jewish Voice for Peace Spokane led an interfaith rally protesting the escalating Israeli violence against Palestinians and 76 years of ethnic cleansing and apartheid policies. The activists challenged local ties supporting the Israeli occupation, while building solidarity across Muslim, Christian, and diverse community groups against white supremacy threats.

Apology from U.S. Catholic bishops falls short for traumatized Indigenous families

Learn about the U.S. Catholic bishops' apology for the mistreatment of Indigenous families in American Indian boarding schools and how little it matters.

Machine guns and domestic violence: What is the future of gun control legislation?

Insights into the differences between two crucial gun control cases and their potential impact on future legislation. A must-read for those passionate about gun rights and public safety.

Our Sponsors


Don’t let a Supreme Court leak threaten what consensus we have on abortion

By Charles C. Camosy | Religion News Service

 In reading the first reactions from Washington, it’s hard to tell which is the bigger shocker in Politico’s publication of a purported leaked draft of a majority opinion by Justice Samuel Alito, apparently overturning Roe v. Wade.

On the one hand we think we know the basic outlines of what is likely to become the ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization abortion case: a complete dismantling of Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, with the issue of abortion returned to the states.

On the other, capital insiders are just as blown away by the breach of the usual black box of Supreme Court decisionmaking. The popular ScotusBlog website, for one, tweeted out the following castigation of the leak:

In fact, the leak may be just as big a story, in that the merits of the arguments over abortion morality and public policy are by now very well known. Many people, including deeply pro-choice people, were expecting this kind of opinion from the Court, if not for another month or two. 

Nonetheless I have strong opinions about the decision, as many will. If what was leaked is basically what the opinion ends up becoming, it is a huge victory for a consistent vision of human rights. It creates the conditions for the possibility of prenatal justice which doesn’t pit women against their own children.

This kind of opinion means that the arguments for public policies matter again — they are no longer about political maneuvering to get “our people” on the Court. Instead, we will need to convince the fellow citizens of our state that our arguments win the day.

But the leak, which puts the very notion of the legitimacy of the Supreme Court at stake, has more to say, perhaps about where the abortion debate is headed.

The leaker seems to believe the stakes are so high as to be willing to destroy the Court’s ability to function. Indeed as this piece goes to press, hundreds of protestors have already apparently taken to the (very recently installed) protective barricades around the Supreme Court with signs like “F*ck SCOTUS” and “You Can’t Stop Abortion.”

Since my book “Beyond the Abortion Wars” appeared in 2015 I’ve emphasized just how much common ground exists on abortion. Most (about 6 in 10) agree that abortion should be broadly legal before week 12. Most (about 7 in 10) think that abortion should be broadly illegal after week 12. Large majorities, right across the political spectrum, agree that we should expand the U.S. social safety net to support women who want to keep their children.

One of the most striking recent shifts in the debate that might be more broadly called pro-life is the willingness among those who identify as conservative in the United States to talk about policies like paid family leave, help with child care, an increased minimum wage, more substantial child tax credits and more.

It’s more important now to highlight the fact that US citizens are not, as a whole, polarized on this issue. There are clearly people out there willing to threaten democracy itself (for what kind of democracy could function without a workable Supreme Court?) to support wildly extreme views on abortion.

Religious institutions are uniquely positioned to help dial down the temperature on this issue. Contrary to popular opinion, religion can and does serve as a moderating force in US politics

And, boy, do we need this moderating force now.

Religious institutions can and should move with urgency to show that there is no inherent contradiction between supporting both prenatal children and their mothers. Indeed, they should lead with urgency to show that both those who identify as pro-life and those who identify as pro-choice can cooperate to support women in their desire to keep their children.

This obvious common ground is where our focus should be at this turning point in our nation’s history. As important as the issue of abortion is (and one would be hard-pressed to come up with an issue where more was at stake), there is nothing about what people in the U.S. actually believe about abortion that should allow a leaker to lead us to chuck the rule of law and our foundational democratic institutions.

With a focus on unity — even across substantial difference — the issue of abortion looks quite different than the picture painted by those who want to see our polity burnt to the ground. There is no reason at all for us to let the extremists win. Let’s work as hard as we can to dial down the temperature and focus instead on the common ground held by an exhausted majority. 

Religion News Service
Religion News Servicehttps://religionnews.com
Religion News Service (RNS) aims to be the largest single source of news about religion, spirituality and ideas. We strive to inform, illuminate and inspire public discourse on matters relating to belief and convictions.

Our Sponsors

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x