Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

pro_choice

An abortion rights activist protests next to anti-abortion rights activists in front of the U.S. Supreme Court Building on June 23, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Republicans Won't Stop at Roe

The Republican majority on the Supreme Court is giving states the green light to invade everyone's privacy in ever more egregious ways.

Robert Reich

 by RobertReich.org

Bans on abortion, birth control, and same-sex marriage are at stake in November's elections.

Republican lawmakers want the government to make decisions about your marriage, your bedroom, and your body.

Overturning Roe v. Wade is extreme, but what's just as alarming is the logic Justice Samuel Alito used to justify it, which puts a whole range of other rights on the chopping block, too.
 
We enjoy many rights that are protected by the Constitution but not explicitly mentioned in it. One of these is the right to privacy. The Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that the 14th Amendment's due process clause protects individuals' privacy against government interference.
 
In 1965, in Griswold v. Connecticut, the Supreme Court used privacy to make it illegal for states to ban birth control. In 1973, in Roe v. Wade, the Court used privacy to decide that women have broad rights to determine whether to end their pregnancies. In 2003, in Lawrence v. Texas, the Court protected LGBTQ Americans from arrest and prosecution for engaging in consensual sex in the privacy of their own bedrooms. In 2015 in Obergefell v. Hodges, the Court legalized gay marriage.
 
These landmark court cases all rest on the principle that the Constitution protects the liberty of an individual to make decisions about certain private matters without government interference.
 
But in his leaked opinion, Justice Samuel Alito argues that since the Constitution contains neither an explicit right to an abortion nor an explicit right to privacy, Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided and must be overturned.
 
Alito's logic threatens all the other court cases that were decided based on the inferred right to privacy. That could give government a say over the most intimate decisions someone ever makes. Alito explicitly writes that his opinion overturning Roe v Wade "concerns the constitutional right to abortion and no other right." Should we believe him? 
 
Well, he and the other justices who have tentatively joined him all reassured the senators in their confirmation hearings that they accepted Roe v Wade as settled precedent. They all lied. So there's no reason to believe their assurance now.
 
Make no mistake: this is what's on the ballot in November.
 
Republican lawmakers want the government to make decisions about your marriage, your bedroom, and your body. They've already started at the state level by restricting abortion and criminalizing gender-affirming health care for trans people. The Republican majority on the Supreme Court is giving states the green light to invade everyone's privacy in ever more egregious ways.
 
This is why we must work to elect Democrats who will protect these rights at both the state and federal level. Know the stakes, and vote accordingly.
 
Watch:

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.
Robert Reich

Robert Reich

Robert Reich, is the Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and a senior fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He served as secretary of labor in the Clinton administration, for which Time magazine named him one of the 10 most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century. His book include:  "Aftershock" (2011), "The Work of Nations" (1992), "Beyond Outrage" (2012) and, "Saving Capitalism" (2016). He is also a founding editor of The American Prospect magazine, former chairman of Common Cause, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and co-creator of the award-winning documentary, "Inequality For All." Reich's newest book is "The Common Good" (2019). He's co-creator of the Netflix original documentary "Saving Capitalism," which is streaming now.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Global Allies Stand With Walden Bello as Social Justice Champion Posts Bail in the Philippines

"Walden Bello's arrest is a violation of his fundamental rights, an affront to the institutions of Philippine democracy, and a threat to free expression everywhere," said the Progressive International council.

Jessica Corbett ·


Team Trump Reportedly 'Bullish' About Exploiting FBI Raid to Win Reelection

One former Trump aide-turned-"Big Lie" detractor said that the Justice Department may have "just handed Trump" the 2024 GOP nomination "or potentially the presidency."

Brett Wilkins ·


Pentagon Contractors in Afghanistan Pocketed $108 Billion Over 20 Years

Military contracting "obscures where and how taxpayer money flows," and "makes it difficult to know how many people are employed, injured, and killed," said the Costs of War Project report's author.

Jessica Corbett ·


'Enough Is Enough' Campaign Launched in UK to Fight Cost of Living Crisis

"Fair pay, affordable bills, enough to eat, and a decent place to live. These aren't luxuries—they are your rights!"

Kenny Stancil ·


Fetterman Demands Dr. Oz Answer for $50,000 Tax Break Intended for Pa. Farmers

"Dr. Oz does not want to live in Pennsylvania, and he doesn't want to pay taxes here; he just wants our Senate seat."

Julia Conley ·

Common Dreams Logo