Abortion legal leak shakes African-American community

While the repercussions of the leaking of the Supreme Court’s draft preliminary ruling on Roe vs. Wade continue to rock American politics, some experts point out that the greatest impact will be felt in the African-American community.

We see very clearly that people [of color] are monitored, targeted and accused of accessing abortion,” said Dr. Jamila Perrittan abortion provider and president of Physicians for Reproductive Health, told VICE News.

A 2013 study which reviewed 413 civil and criminal cases brought after Roe found that black women were “significantly more likely to be arrested, reported to state authorities by hospital staff, and subjected to felony charges”, according to VICE News.

With that, recent data in 2017 from the Guttmacher Institute found that between 2008 and 2014, women of color were more likely to have abortions, while living below the poverty line.

“Poor, black and brown people will have greater barriers to accessing abortion…Then they will be pushed into the shadows,” the mayor of St. Louis said. Tishura Jones said, adding that Roe’s end will have “long-term consequences” for health and the justice system.

States aim to stop lawsuits

“Once federal abortion protections are gone,” says the Drexel University law professor David Cohen, speaking with Pew Trusts. “We can expect to see more zealous local prosecutors taking aggressive action against people for self-directed abortions and other pregnancy outcomes.”

A collateral consequence of these anti-choice perspectives against abortion is the prosecution of individuals for self-directed abortion or other pregnancy loss. In Texas, for example, prosecutors have attempted to charge individuals with murder for voluntary abortions, pew trusts details.

26 years Lizelle Herrera was recently arrested and charged with murder when a hospital reported to law enforcement that she had a voluntary abortion, but it was an unfortunate miscarriage, Details from VICE News.

The charges have since been droppedbut health advocates warn that more people who manage their own health care using drugs, herbal remedies or other non-medical methods approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration “will be falsely arrested for violating abortion bans, homicide laws and other criminal offences.” statutes.

With that in mind, lawmakers and criminal justice officials in a handful of states are trying to prevent ‘rogue’ prosecutions,” reports Pew Stateline.

In 2019, Illinois and New York enacted provisions excluding a pregnant person from fetal homicide laws, and Rhode Island repealed its fetal homicide law.

In March of this year, Washington State has enacted a law that protects people seeking abortions and those who help them from state lawsuits.

In April of this year, Colorado enacted “a sweeping reproductive health law” that ensured a person could not be sued for pregnancy-related death or harm to a fetus.

Still to come in 2022, lawmakers in California and Maryland recently considered similar bills, clarifying that a person cannot be punished for the death of a fetus due to acts or omissions during pregnancy. or shortly thereafter.

Roberts: “Breach of trust”

Chief Justice John Roberts announced Wednesday that an investigation into the Supreme Court leak will be led by U.S. Supreme Court Marshal Col. Gail A. Curley, Bloomberg News reports.

In an earlier statement, Roberts called the leak a “breach of trust” and an effort to “undermine the integrity of our operations,” The New York Times reported.

Curley, a career Army lawyer who became the 11th marshal in court history in June after the retirement of Pamela Talkin, has a background in security and law and has power to make arrests for violations of state or federal law and regulations. A decision on a prosecution would likely come from the Department of Justice.

“To the extent that this betrayal of the Court’s confidences was intended to undermine the integrity of our operations, it will not succeed,” Roberts said in his statement.

“At the Court, we are fortunate to have a workforce – permanent staff and paralegals – intensely loyal to the institution and dedicated to the rule of law. Court employees have an exemplary and important tradition of respecting the confidentiality of the judicial process and maintaining the confidence of the Court.

“This was a singular and flagrant breach of that trust which is an affront to the Court and to the community of civil servants who work here.”

Responding to the content of the leak, President Joe Biden said on Tuesday he hoped it was not the final decision, arguing it reflected a “fundamental shift in American jurisprudence” that threatens “other fundamental rights.” like private life and marriage, the Chicago Tribune reported. .

“If this decision holds, it really is quite a drastic decision.”

See also: Illinois predicts 30,000 patient influx if Roe falls, Chicago Tribune, May 4, 2022

Further reading: Abortion, prison and the death penalty, The Crime Report, May 4, 2022


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