How SCOTUS abortion case outcomes could affect us all
How deeply are our most personal rights threatened by abortion cases now before the U.S. Supreme Court? Along with abortion, how much are our rights to marry whomever we want, have (consensual) sex the way we like and with whomever we want, and have gender-affirming surgery - for example - also at risk?
Until recently, it seemed it had been many years since our most basic rights were being debated in the Supreme Court of the United States. Not anymore. Abortion rights are under attack in a way they have not been for decades, and federal courts journalist Lisa Keen tells Out in the Bay that those attacks also jeopardize LGBTQ and other "personal bodily integrity" rights.
In December, SCOTUS justices heard arguments in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health over a Mississippi law that bans abortion after just 15 weeks of pregnancy. Many legal observers believe the court’s conservative 6-3 majority could undercut the precedents set in Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood, the 1973 and 1992 decisions that have upheld abortion rights. How deeply are those rights threatened and what could be the domino effect on queer rights especially?
"If it becomes OK for states to say whether or not a woman must carry her pregnancy to term whether she wants to or not, whether it threatens her life or not," said Keen, "then it doesn't seem at all far-fetched for the court to say it's OK for states to regulate other very personal decisions concerning one's bodily integrity ... who you have sex with, whether you choose to have your uterus or breasts removed, whether you request transition surgery, or use PrEP or use a condom."
Keen is a national politics and legal affairs correspondent for the Bay Area Reporter and other LGBTQ publications nationwide. She shares her expert analysis with guest host Christopher Beale on this week’s Out in the Bay – Queer Radio + Podcast on key abortion cases and on other cases directly attacking LGBTQ rights, including challenges to queer-friendly books in libraries and schools.
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This week’s feature was hosted and edited by Christopher Beale; produced by him and Out in the Bay founder Eric Jansen. Christopher J. Beale is a queer independent radio host, producer and journalist based in San Francisco. His website is christopherjbeale.com.