With the overturning of Roe V Wade, a controversial subject in its own right, causing a stir in American lives and legislation, what is next on the agenda for states to decide? However, this might not be the end of overturning laws put in place by the federal government.
America is the land of the brave and home of the free, but what does free really mean? According to law expert Nicole Huberfeld, professor at Boston University School of Law and School of Public Health, this could very well lead to America looking like a very different place than we have experienced in the last 60+ years. GBH, a Boston, Massachusetts-based media group, was joined by Huberfield to discuss the report and the future of not only abortion access but what this could mean for the future of state and federal laws.
Trigger Laws, And Their Effect
According to the ROE Act, the state of Massachusetts was able to keep protections of a woman’s right to choose, but numerous other states have enacted trigger laws the second Roe V Wade was overturned. The future of America is uncertain. Now states might have the power to take away more civil liberties experts believe this is just the tip of the iceberg of what is to come.
What Civil Liberties Are Under Threat?
Civil liberties such as gay marriage, birth control, smoking, alcohol, right to control/receive medical treatment, and even firearm ownership are under threat. Since 2015 gay marriage has been legal on a federal level, but since Roe V Wade, subjects such as this one may be left all up to the states. According to reporting by Religion Dispatches, now that Roe is officially gone, the Texas governor and attorney general are planning to challenge Obergefell v Hodges, the case in 2015 that established same-sex marriage nationwide.
Does This Apply Only To Abortion and Pregnancy?
When it comes to controlling personal autonomy, the question regarding control over medical treatment is in a gray area after Roe’s demise. According to legal experts associated with the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), this applies to contraception, pregnancy, and abortion but also everything else health-related. In the case of Cruzan V. Director of Missouri Department of Health, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of having the right to refuse artificial life-prolonging procedures. Although even Supreme Court rulings such as this can be overturned like Roe.
Will Healthcare Be Left To The States?
Law Professor Nicole Huberfield believes this can possibly even affect healthcare. With the Affordable Care Act, American citizens were able to receive reduced-cost healthcare, funded in part by the state. According to the Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School, every state in America had to comply with this, or they risked losing 10% of their annual government funding. But even this could be threatened, leaving millions of Americans without affordable healthcare.
What Is The Future Of Gun Rights?
Gun reform has been a hot topic, with many believing it is either here or around the corner. While the House may have passed a ban on assault weapons, it most likely will fall apart in the Senate. However, if the Supreme Court and other branches of government were to change hands to a more anti-gun stance, gun laws may end up being on the chopping block next. Tom Becker, retired lawyer, and contributor to the PA Times believes that we should be cheering for Roe V Wade to stay in effect. Otherwise, other civil liberties like gun ownership may be left for states to decide.
“Second Amendment enthusiasts might feel pretty safe right now with the Supreme Court’s current composition. But that will change, either dramatically, with an increase in the number of justices on the Court or, more likely, over time with a shift in Court composition,” said Becker.
In conclusion, with experts believing that our other civil liberties are at risk due to the repealing of Roe, the future of what is next to go is left uncertain.