As the country is reeling from the Politico report of a leaked draft opinion by the Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, which would overturn the landmark abortion rights decision Roe v. Wade, people are taking to the streets.
On Tuesday, hundreds of supporters of reproductive rights marched in Downtown Albuquerque. Jeanne was one of those protesting who was there with her daughter and grandchild. “I can’t believe all of these rights are disappearing. It terrifies me. What’s next after this?”
What’s next after this is indeed the question of the hour, especially since Alito’s draft ruling on abortion rights is that they aren’t referenced in the Constitution, so in order for the rights to be worthy of judicial recognition, they need deep roots in the history of the American experience. Abortion, the Bush-appointed justice says, falls short.
Although Alito says the opinion concerns abortion and no other right, there are many rights, including the right to marriage equality, which is also not in the Constitution, nor is it deep-rooted in history.
Jeanne says she was somewhat involved in the reproductive civil rights movement when Roe v. Wade was being decided in the 70s. “This is like the movements in the past where people get an idea of what we have to lose. I think legislators need to be here, seeing and listening. The government needs to answer to its constituents and stand up for our rights.”
One such legislator who attended the march was House Majority Floor Leader Rep. Javier Martinez (D-Albuquerque). When asked what he would personally do as a legislator to ensure that reproductive rights were protected for New Mexicans, he said, “It’s not up to me or any other male legislator to propose a solution. Our job is to listen and to make it happen. This potential ban will impact people across the country, especially people of color and low-income people and that’s a social justice issue. We have to do whatever it takes to protect reproductive healthcare rights.”