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Supreme Court decision: Not a simple matter


In light of the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade, abortion will still be permissible in some states while punishable in others. Imagine having to go to another state to get a vasectomy.

If it were simply a matter of inconvenience to travel to obtain personal health care, this reversed ruling would be more palatable. However, as each state embarks upon creating and defining their individualized laws on abortion, very serious culpabilities can, and will, arise for people having knowledge of any pregnancy or abortion.

In states that forbid any type of abortion regardless of gestation, women will only have control of their uterus until they become pregnant, and then the state will take over the gestation of any zygotes until these organisms are able to live outside the womb. Anyone possessing direct knowledge of the pregnancy could be subpoenaed if the gestation of the zygote ends inexplicably including having a miscarriage.

A woman’s husband, significant other, gynecologist, best friend, family members, neighbors and the public who see her daily, will all become aware of the newly formed and dividing cells. In some states, all of these people could be culpable and potential witnesses in a homicide case if anything happens to the pregnancy.

Being forced to go to church as a child and later pressured in my home state of Texas, I was taught about Genesis 3:16, which speaks of the extremely misogynistic curse given to women for their insubordination. I never imagined that the government would capitalize on this male-written passage of gender inequality. That is, until now.

Currently in Texas, legal procedures are being formulated that basically state that anyone providing transportation, aiding, or lending monies for an abortion can be targeted by a bounty hunter who could receive up to $10,000 for each conviction. Even women of means and their accomplices, who can afford to leave their state or country for an abortion, could possibly be extradited and held accountable for breaking the law.

Some states are reported having legislative conversations regarding electronic applications that track menstrual cycles and how the information from these applications could be used in a court of law. Receipts of any note, letter, email, text, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook post or whispered conversation could be used as evidence. This basically means that anyone who has direct knowledge of a lost pregnancy will be legally bound to report it to the authorities and could be subpoenaed to testify.

The currently stacked U.S. Supreme Court, which has overturned the 50-year-old precedent of Roe v Wade, is bringing Margret Atwood’s dystopian nightmare of The Handmaid’s Tale to fruition. Abortion laws in America will be fraught with landmines of culpability for all professions and demographics.

Lawrence Booth lives in New Hope.