Fundamental rights and the limits of democracy

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Who should decide whether abortion is legal or not? According to a leaked document, the US Supreme Court is about to answer that question in a new and controversial way: voters. This will overturn the status quo since 1973, when the Supreme Court decided that early term abortion was a constitutional right. Many argue that a a right so fundamental as the right to make decisions about your own body should be enshrined in the constitution rather than be subject to the opinion of the majority. But given the real moral disagreement and apparent clash between women’s right to bodily autonomy, and the right to life of the foetus, which right should prevail? Liberal democracies have the tools to answer that question, but the way the US is about to means that it risks slipping towards an illiberal democracy, writes Albero Giubilini.   The leaked draft opinion by Supreme Court Justice’ Samuel Alito foreshadows the overturn of the 1973 Roe vs Wade ruling. Roe vs Wade grounded women’s (limited) ri…

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