The Supreme Court’s decision allowing many states to end or sharply curtail abortion rights will have profoundly harmful effects on those who are forced to continue unwanted pregnancies and on democracy itself, says legal scholar Khiara M. Bridges.
The court, carried by its conservative majority, voted 6-3 to overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, historic decisions that enshrined the right to abortion over the past half-century. The decision will jeopardize the well-being of less-privileged people in red states, Bridges says, while representing a symbolic threat to women everywhere.
Roe and Casey didn’t just legalize abortion—they helped to drive profound changes in US culture. The power to end unplanned or unwanted pregnancies offered new power in relationships and new opportunities at work. And the constitutional privacy provisions that supported abortion rights in time extended to LGBTQ+ people, as well.
But as Republicans systematically work to raise barriers to voting, Bridges says, voters may struggle to overturn unpopular law.
Bridges is a professor at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, and she has written extensively on race, class, reproductive rights, and the intersection of the three. This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.
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