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The end of the right to abortion, a new stage in the theocratic turn of the United States | Slate.fr – Slate.fr

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Reading time: 6 min The Supreme Court of the United States has just officially announced what has already been suspected for several weeks: the end of the right to abortion at the federal level. Confirming the leak of documents revealed on May 3 by the Politico site, the Court reversed the jurisprudence of the Roe v. Wade (1973) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992). The short and medium term consequences are still unclear. Several analysts fear a nationwide ban will be inevitable if the Republican Party regains a majority in Congress after midterm elections next November, as Democrats themselves expect. both distinct and related help to understand the political trend at work in the United States: on the one hand, the rise of white evangelicalism as a political identity; on the other, a growing tolerance – even a preference – for authoritarian tactics within the Republican Party. An ideology and a strategy that together risk undermining American democracy. A politicization of the religious right White evangelical Christians represent one of the most unified and mobilized demographic groups in the United States today, forming a political force unique. This religious right, pillar of the anti-abortion movement, is therefore as much a cult as a social movement characterized by a variety of opinions. Despite these internal divisions, the common accord is about a nationalist project championing anti-feminist, anti-LGBT+, and pro-gun politics. The politicization of white evangelicalism existed long before the Trump era. Despite the statements of Jerry Falwell, evangelical pastor and one of the leaders of the religious right, it does not date either from a moral outrage provoked by the Roe v. Wade of 1973, which established the legal framework for access to abortion. The Republican Party has developed an anti-system position and illiberal strategies for twenty years. It was rather during the desegregation and financial penalization of evangelical schools that refused to admit black students that the religious right began to organize in the late 1970s. During the presidential election of 1980, abortion replaces desegregation as the emblematic cause, but the legacy of white supremacist ideology has survived within the evangelical movement. Religious right leaders continue to mobilize in favor of Republicans rather than create their own party, a strategy more likely to result in electoral victories in the American two-party system. The fusion of this white evangelicalism with the Republican Party asserted itself with the re-election of Ronald Reagan in 1984 then with that of George HW Bush in 1988, although they themselves were quite distant from evangelical beliefs. Between the two conventions national Republican Party, from 1992 to 1996, the rate of adherents to the Christian Coalition exploded, rising from 14% to more than 50%. In 2000, conversion to evangelicalism was an important element of George W. Bush’s campaign, and in 2016, 80% of white evangelical Christians voted for Trump. An ideological change enabled by the institutional system At the same time, the Republican Party has developed an anti-system position and illiberal strategies for twenty years. According to the V-Dem Institute, this movement started gradually between 2000 and 2012; between 2014 and 2018, the party swung to the edge of what the Institute considers authoritarianism – while the Democratic Party’s score remained stable over the same period. Civil and political rights abuses in the first year of the Trump administration also prompted Freedom House to lower the “freedom score” in the United States in 2018. Since the early 2000s, the Republican Party has bet on the redrawing of electoral constituencies (gerrymandering in English) to reduce the electoral power of traditionally democratic groups, in particular ethnic minorities and young people. The reduction in the number of polling stations in certain neighborhoods and the implementation of voter identification laws in the United States (voter ID laws) have the same purpose. This evolution continued until an agreement was reached between Republican Party leaders to categorically oppose Barack Obama’s policy just before his inauguration in 2009 – an agreement in which some elected Republicans saw such a break with the norm that they decided to leave politics for good. The Supreme Court plays a much more important role than the French institutions whose role comes closest to its own. These decisions lead to the situation we know today: a party that continues to contest the results of the elections that it does not win; which blocks the investigation into the attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021, the most violent assault on the American government since the War of 1812, to which some of its members contributed; who continues to modify the electoral system to ensure results in his favor in the next elections. It is therefore not surprising that Republicans ignore the fact that the majority of American public opinion supports the right to access to abortion. According to some political scientists, all these elements are emblematic of a democratic relapse ( democratic backsliding) – when a democracy ceases (or threatens to cease) to be. At the international level, the decline of women’s rights is only one of the expressions of this ongoing backsliding. What about the separation of powers? If the influence of religious groups is responsible for the right-winging of American society, the politicization of the Supreme Court is an even more convincing phenomenon. For the past eighty years, the Supreme Court has played a vital role in granting civil rights, by assessing the constitutionality of state laws or deciding court cases that restrict these rights. , the authorization of interracial marriage in 1967 had been a historic decision. With regard to the protection of civil rights, the Supreme Court plays a much more important role than the French institutions whose role comes closest to its own, namely the Court of Cassation and the Constitutional Council. did not result from legislation passed by Congress, but were decided through legal precedent from the Supreme Court. This is why the federal government did not transcribe Roe v. Wade in Federal Legislation: Until now, this was not considered necessary. This lack is due both to an American political tradition and to poor management on the part of the Democrats, which they must certainly regret today. What response from the Democratic Party? ask why Democratic President Joe Biden—whose party still has a majority in Congress—doesn’t have the power to lead the country on the agenda he was elected to serve in 2020. First, Democrats many have tried. Social networks and the press are full of speeches asking Americans to protect their rights, explaining how the decision would have a strong negative impact on the balance of the country. Joe Biden notably advised his people to vote for pro-abortion legislative candidates this fall. Today there is an unprecedented power imbalance in favor of the Supreme Court. Second, the government has no control over this decision, as the tools at its disposal can all be circumvented. minority may prolong a debate indefinitely to block the vote on a bill. This strategy requires two-thirds of the seats to overcome it, so the majority is no longer enough. Originally intended for exceptional cases, it began to be used regularly by Republicans to block legislation during Obama’s presidency. The Democrats’ attempt to codify access to abortion thus failed because of a Republican filibuster, as did their bill aimed at better protecting voting rights last January. Moreover, the Supreme Court has a power over the President’s decrees. In the event that Joe Biden issues an executive order enshrining Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court could overturn it. There is therefore today an unprecedented imbalance of power in favor of the Supreme Court. The religious right will then be able to attack the other rights it contests, currently protected by the same legal principle (right to privacy or “right to privacy”) than Roe: contraception, equal marriage, same-sex relationships, and some say even interracial marriage could be affected. Whatever the details of the Supreme Court judgment, Roe’s end confirms a less democratic and more theocratic turn in the United States. This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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