Dr. Veda Pratap Vaidik
Two major decisions of the US Court has created serious tremors in America. The first one was regarding the new restrictions imposed on the possession of firearms and the other relating to the ban on abortion. There were demonstrations across the country for and also against the decisions of the Supreme Court of America. Much of the protest was against the restrictions on abortion, compared to that against the ban on firearms. The Supreme Court decision in 1973 permitting abortion was reversed by the same apex court in its latest order.
In the 9 –judges Bench the decision was 6 against 3. The six judges who favoured the decision were conservatives who were the nominees of the previous Trump administration.
In America it is hardly mandatory that the States follow the Federal Court’s decisions. Each state is autonomous in its own right. They can reject or uphold such a decision. The pro-Republican States in America that support former Donald Trump and conservative ideology are likely to hurriedly implement the Apex Court order. This means the women will be deprived of their fundamental rights. As soon as this order was pronounced over a dozen States announced a ban on abortion. No woman is allowed to abort a foetus after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
President Joe Biden has described this decision of the Court as appalling. There is extensive discontent across America against this Court decision. Prominent leaders of the European Nations have vehemently criticised the decisions. Leading corporate companies in America have assured the women working with of all assistance and facilities should they need to any State in the US for abortion. Abortion is legally permitted in 13 States in that Country. America follows federal structure and under this system every State is to decide whether to follow the Central law or not.
Interestingly the Catholic Church in America has welcomed the ban on abortion. However, in Europe and America illicit physical relations between men and women are on the rise, so denying the right to abortion could embarrass many. The demand to legalise abortion is becoming loud because many women have lost life due to illicit and unsafe abortions. According to a World Health Organisation report, over 25 million insecure abortions happen every year in which over 37,000 women lose their lives. Now with this ban on abortion, the number is likely to shoot up.
Many European Countries are gearing up to legitimise right to abortion. In India it is legal to abort pregnancy even after 24 weeks if there is any threat to the life of the pregnant woman. Indian laws are mostly practical in nature.
*Dr. Vaidik is a widely travelled scholar-journalist. He has visited more than 80 countries on diplomatic and educational missions. Dr. Vaidik has won more than a dozen National and International awards for academic and journalistic excellence. He has been a member of several Advisory Committees of Government of India.