By Chiara Cordelli and Aziz Huq
Texas’s new abortion law subjects women to heightened surveillance and the whims of private parties. If the US Supreme Court upholds the law, it will set back gender relations to an era that precedes the living memory of most Americans.
In 1984, the late US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg gave a lecture on why Roe v. Wade, the Court’s 1973 decision recognizing a constitutional right to abortion, was wrongly decided. The case, she explained, should never have been framed as a matter of privacy or reproductive choice alone: Abortion was at bottom a question of gender equality.
Thirty-seven years later, Texas is proving Ginsburg’s point with its draconian and potentially transformative abortion law. If the Supreme Court upholds the law – it just heard oral arguments on whether to permit two legal challenges to proceed – it will set back gender relations to an era that precedes the living memory of most Americans.