Biden called the MAGA crowd “the most extreme political organisation… in recent American history” and warned LGBTQ+ children will be their next target.
Following the bombshell US Supreme Court leak, which outlines a plan to repeal abortion rights by overturning the near 50-year precedent set in 1973 in Roe v. Wade, President Joe Biden has expressed concern that LGBTQ+ young people would be next on the MAGA hitlist.
“What happens,” the president asked, if “a state changes the law saying that children who are LGBTQ can’t be in classrooms with other children? Is that legit under the way the decision is written?”
On Monday (2 May), POLITICO published a Supreme Court draft opinion, written by Justice Samuel Alito, one of six conservatives on the supreme court, detailing a vote to strike down the landmark Roe v. Wade decision. The leaked document – labelled as ‘1st Draft’ – appears to reflect the majority opinion of the court and calls the Roe v Wade ruling “egregiously wrong from the start”.
“We hold that Roe… must be overruled. The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision”, the draft also read.
Supreme Court chief justice John Roberts Jr. confirmed the authenticity of the leak shortly after it was made public.
Biden had already said that, should the repeal go ahead, it would ‘call other freedoms into question’, without mentioning LGBTQ+ rights specifically,
Many have warned the reverse of Roe, in which the Supreme Court decided that the right to an abortion is protected by the constitution under the Fourteenth Amendment right to privacy, opens the door to other rights being called into question – from access to contraception, voting rights, gay rights, marriage equality for same-sex couples and so on.
As we’ve warned, SCOTUS isn’t just coming for abortion – they’re coming for the right to privacy Roe rests on, which includes gay marriage + civil rights.
Manchin is blocking Congress codifying Roe. House has seemingly forgotten about Clarence Thomas. These 2 points must change https://t.co/5Isec0osV0
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 3, 2022
Vice-president Kamala Harris condemned the leaked draft, following its release, saying, “Those Republican leaders who are trying to weaponize the use of the law against women. Well, we say, ‘How dare they?’
“How dare they tell a woman what she can do and cannot do with her own body? How dare they? How dare they try to stop her from determining her own future? How dare they try to deny women their rights and their freedoms?’”
Roe has historically been labelled as a “super-precedent”, meaning it was supposed to be beyond reconsideration by the courts, but should that change then a lot could change along with it. Should the law be overturned, it could then impact other rights that fall under the Fourteenth Amendment.
LGBTQ+ Americans have already seen this in action from Republicans in positions of power this year, such as the highly-publicized ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law in Florida and similar legislation passing in other States.
Back in March it was revealed that the annual number of anti-LGBTQ bills to have been filed in the US catapulted from 41 throughout the whole of 2018 to 238 in less than three months of 2022.
Should Roe v Wade be overturned, individual US states would be empowered to set their own laws around reproductive rights. It is expected that around half of US states would ban abortions.
Analysis by the Guttmacher Institute indicated that, should Roe be overturned or fundamentally weakened, 26 states are either certain or likely to ban abortion.
A final decision on the case is expected in late June or early July.
Elsewhere this week (5 May), Biden appointed Karine Jean-Pierre as the next White House press secretary, taking over from Jen Psaki who steps down from the role as of 13 May.
Jean-Pierre makes history twice over with the announcement, becoming the first Black woman and the first openly gay person to hold the position.
“It is a true honor”, said Jean-Pierre on Twitter.
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