Opinion | Journalists must understand the liberty granted by the 14th Amendment

The provocative vehicle of empowerment is at the center of the abortion debate.

Abortion-rights activists demonstrate against the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade that established a constitutional right to abortion, on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 30, 2022. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

By: Michael Bugeja

When the Supreme Court ended the constitutional right to abortion, investigative journalist Jordan Smith knew the implications. She summed up the dilemma in the headline of her analysis for The Intercept, “In Overturning Roe, Radical Supreme Court Declares War on the 14th Amendment.”

While some may disagree with her stance, Smith focused on the erosion of liberty in the aftermath of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

Few media outlets fathomed the impact of the court’s decision on one of the most treasured doctrines of democracy.

Bernadette Meyler, Stanford Law School professor, published a scathing critique of Justice Samuel Alito, who wrote for the majority in Dobbs. “His opinion adduced 19th-century state statutes restricting abortion as evidence that the right to obtain an abortion was not part of a constitutionally protected liberty interest.”

Meyler believes the Dobbs decision might erode other rights on similar grounds, including same-sex marriage — also protected by the 14th Amendment.

“All of these rights were established on the basis of a much broader conception of liberty, one capable of evolution rather than embalmed in the amber of history.”

For the rest of the article, visit: https://www.poynter.org/commentary/2022/journalists-must-understand-the-liberty-granted-by-the-14th-amendment/

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