As my inaugural entry, I want, and it is my right, to scribe something witty and humorous about television or travel. But we all know that my wants and rights as a Black Latina woman have been blatantly hijacked. But what the Supreme Court can never take away, I hope, is my first amendment right to freedom of speech. And with that, we have Faith’s Takes: The Hypocrisy of the Land of the Free.
I have never been one to read the news. For my own sanity, I attempt to block out the pain and suffering, especially when a government working for the people is the reason for my anguish and millions like me. But this now is not something I can, should, or want to ignore. As we all know, on June 25th, 2022, the hypothetically “Supreme” Court of the United States overturned Roe v. Wade, taking away the federal right to abortions. This result will have an apocalyptic ripple on women’s rights and the rights of any other gendered minority. Let’s be clear, while this ban will allow states to deny legal abortions, this will in no way curtail the need for abortions. But it will remove safe abortions from the lives of millions who might need these services, forcing them to travel thousands of miles to ensure a safe abortion or force them to seek out options with drastically dire consequences. This action not only elevates the risks of pregnancy for all, but disproportionally affects Black and Brown women who have reduced access to healthcare, no medical insurance, and no sex education. These factors result in higher pregnancy and abortion rates amongst Black and Brown women, demonstrating that this decision is aimed to hurt one of the least protected groups in this nation. But in no uncertain words, the government has begun to dictate personal medical decisions due to personal religious beliefs, expunging any concept of the separation of church and state, and plunging us further away from our core values.
At the beginning stages of my education, I studied years of history. But my favorite segment was Henry the VIII and how he withdrew from the Catholic Church to create a religion where he could divorce his wife. Throughout world history, religion was the cause of so much strife, and I was proud that the fictitious American History I learned was exempted from this. And, my little pea brain was proud that our church and state were separate in order to sustain every individual right to freedom of religion, as our founding fathers and principles strived to create the land of the free. But now I understand it was just another lie fed to us by the government.
The government would not have reinstituted prayer inside that classroom, once more ingraining education with religion if church and state were separated. Every dollar we have would not be stamped with “In God We Trust,” ultimately removing the freedom not to believe in God if church and state were separated. Our court system wouldn’t have had decades of promising to tell “the whole truth and nothing, but the truth so help me god” if church and state were separated. And our presidential election wouldn’t insist on presidents’ swearing with their palms on the Bible if church and state were separated. If the government relies only on a catholic/Christian God when church and state are supposed to be separated?
Now that the Supreme Court has been swayed by their own personal religious beliefs, they have decided that abortions do not fall under the 14th Amendment:
“No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
While I have received my law degree from The Good Wife school of law, I don’t understand why this Amendment doesn’t protect the right to safe abortions. It is a right. Roe v. Wade should not be snatched away like the highest stakes game of monkey in the middle. Now that we have lost the game, rights such as gay and interracial marriage may be next in line at the guillotine. And if that is so, “the land of the free,” “a developed nation,” “a powerhouse” will turn into the Handmaid’s Tale, and everything my generation and previous generations have fought for to create a more inclusive world will vanish.
With our current style of government, we have lost the right to legal abortion, weakening the 14th Amendment. What is next? Where will our freedoms end? When will all our rights disappear? When will hypocrisy be removed from the core of our government? In the land of the free, we have no freedom.