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A Litany of Ironies

In truly ironic fashion, Roe v. Wade has manifested itself once again into the limelight of U.S. Politics, perhaps to the detriment to the political parties of the judges who are poised to overturn this landmark decision. The judges who, under oath, swore to protect the integrity of the decision in their Senate hearings are now the undoers of the sole line of defence for a myriad of rights not explicitly enshrined in the U.S. Constitution - a flailing, archaic one tailored literally for the 18th Century, and sustained only by ever increasingly difficult to execute amendments. The only case in the Supreme Court which made the news for its decision being leaked prematurely in 1973 is now in the news for the same cause - except, it's an entire hundred page document. The party which vehemently swears to abolish abortion under the banner of "pro-life" now trembles in fear over their short-term prospects in the 2022 midterms. The very party which has campaigned on the lines of "codifying" Roe v. Wade into law ever since Barack Obama came into prominence now sits rudderless, watching in utter astonishment despite holding the coveted trifecta of power in the Senate, House, and in the Presiden'ts Office. The party which had lost the 2016 Presidential Election to hubris and complacency is once again prey to the same phenomena, and this time it's the hubris of the late RBG instead of Hilary Clinton, who ironically warned us of this day. The opening of this pandora box has opened another: the potential removal of the filibuster in the Senate if the most extremist incarnation of the GOP in decades raises one. The party which brought upon the entire judicial system into disrepute after the 2020 Election fiasco is now staunchly defending it for maintaining its "integrity". Such are the seismic consequences of this decision.

Roe v. Wade and its fundamental logic is significant for the reason that it interpreted the Fourteenth Amendment to include a "Right to Privacy" which although not absolute, would guarantee a certain degree of guarantee for abortion beyond state laws. The very same logic was crucial for the protection of interracial marriages, contraception, privacy, and a myriad of other issues at a national level. The overturning of this decision effectively places the mandate of the assurance of these rights with the states, and knowing the proclivities of a certain red party, virtually half the states are now at the brink of losing these rights, albeit methodically.

The Republicans have perhaps jeopardised the chances of capitalising on a "Red Wave'' built on anti-incumbency in the 2022 Mid-Term Elections. The spotlight now shifts to Roe v. Wade and associated social issues where the Democrats lead nationwide instead of the Republican-favoured economic woes which the Biden administration has experienced. Case studies across the world have proven that identity politics and campaigning on social issues often trump economics, and the U.S. cannot be expected to be an exception to this norm - especially in the polarised state it currently is in. Not only would this rile up the Democratic Party's core base which has been rotting in apathy, but moderates and independents as well, who often support the GOP's economic policies and the Democratic Party's social policies.

"The Land of the Free" is no longer one, as "third-world" countries such as India surpass it, recently granting greater abortion rights to the unmarried. Israel, though developed, does the same, advancing abortion rights in its country. Beholden in the eyes of our generation is possibly the downfall of a life and a lifestyle which mesmerised many of us, as the country via polarisation or otherwise, becomes unattractive on multiple fronts.

This is perhaps a silver lining for the Democrats, who were poised to lose control of both the Senate and the House of Representatives, which would render the Biden administration almost completely ineffective.

The future frankly looks bleak — any attempts by the Democrats to remove the filibuster and then pack the Supreme Court with additional Democratically aligned Judges would be met with fiercer action from the Republicans once they eventually assume power, destroying any semblance of impartiality which the Judiciary retained. For the time being, we can only hope that ten senators put aside their party lines to protect a key element of democracy, and then pray that the Supreme Court does not repeat its actions.


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