Offensive against abortion in the United States


► What is the law about to be passed in Alabama?

It is a particularly restrictive text that the elected officials of this southern state voted on Tuesday, May 14, since it provides for the prohibition of abortion, even in cases of rape or incest, and envisages penalties of 10 to 99 years in prison for doctors practicing abortion. The only exception envisioned by elected officials is a "Serious risk" threatening the health of the mother.

In the United States, the State of Georgia passes an anti-abortion law

To be adopted, this law, the most restrictive of the country, must still be promulgated by the governor of the State, Kay Ivey. If the elected has not spoken, the green light is no doubt: Kay Ivey is Republican – as 27 of 35 senators and 77 of 105 local MPs – and has already spoken in the past against abortion . But even signed by the governor, the law will be challenged in the courts and most likely blocked by the court before its entry into force, scheduled six months after its promulgation.

► What is the legal status of abortion in the United States?

Justice in the United States is primarily the responsibility of states, not the federal power established in Washington. Each state votes its laws and has its own judiciary. But he must nevertheless comply with the United States Constitution, which is binding on all. In 1973, Supreme Court justices, on the occasion of the famous "Roe V. Wade" judgment, established that a woman had the right to decide to abort before the viability of the fetus.

In the United States, abortions are at their lowest

This judgment, taken by a strong majority – 7 votes against 2 – is based on the 14e amendment of the Constitution, which states that a State can not deprive "A person of his freedom". Given this reading of the Constitution, neither the Washington Congress nor the states can today return to abortion. On the other hand, states have room to maneuver to define the conditions of their practice.

► What is the strategy today for anti-abortion activists?

To question the abortion, the pro-life activists carry out a double strategy. The first is, in the southern states in particular, to increase the restrictions surrounding the application of abortion, notably limiting access to clinics performing these procedures.

United States: Invalidation of Louisiana Abortion Law

The second is, as in the case of Alabama, to push the Supreme Court to look again at the issue, in the hope that the new conservative majority, including following the appointments of Donald Trump, return to the judgment The eventual reversal of the sages would not mean that abortion would become illegal in the United States, but that states would have the right to prohibit it.

If Alabama is now on the front line, it is not alone. Other states have in recent months passed laws contrary to "Roe v. Wade, "such as Georgia, Kentucky, or Mississippi (prohibition of abortion as soon as the fetal heartbeat is detectable). Ohio, Missouri and Tennessee could join them.

These laws, even if they are held in court, give rise to appeals, which may prompt the Supreme Court to take up the matter. In particular by looking at the definition of what a "person" is, and from when, which was not decided by the wise in 1973.

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