Recently the world lost a shining star, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, or commonly known by mainstream media and pop-culture, Notorious RBG.
She was an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1993 until her death and was breaking boundaries and setting precedents long before that. She was a mother when she became one of the only women in her class at Harvard Law before transferring to Columbia Law school where she tied for first in her class.
She spent a vast majority of her legal career advocating for gender equality and women’s rights and won many arguments before the Supreme Court. Her life and many of her early achievements including one of her first monumental cases that set a precedent for the equal treatment of men and women in the work force are put to the screen in the 2018 film “On the Basis of Sex”—a brilliant movie that I highly recommend watching.
Ginsberg played a massive role in forwarding gender equality and women’s rights in America and in society—from work rights to issues of protection and bodily autonomy.
At the time of her death, Ginsberg was one of the only Supreme Court Justices left that was in support of a woman’s right to choose when it came to bearing children, in other words she was in favour of upholding Roe vs. Wade, and its obligations that a woman should not have to jump through near impossible hoops to have an abortion.
Her death, while devastatingly sad, is also terrifying for many women across America. Ginsberg knew that she was one of the last strong hold advocates for abortion and on her deathbed, at 87-years-old, made her dying wish that her seat at the Supreme Court not be filled until after the upcoming US election.
She knew that if that seat was filled before the election, not only could it be used as a pawn for political gain, but that if it was filled with somebody who decided to rule against abortion, that there stood a chance of the Supreme Court of USA ruling in favour of making abortion illegal across the nation, stripping women of their reproductive rights and choices like certain states such as Alabama and Arkansas already have.
Notorious RBG was a hero, and truly a feminist icon. I worry for what will happen in the states without her tenacity and experience stepping up for women and their rights.
There are many moving pawns happening with the upcoming US election, and I just hope that denying Ginsberg’s dying wish and setting back women’s rights by decades isn’t one of them.