On June 24, the Supreme Court finalized overturning Roe v. Wade. News that the Supreme Court might decide to overturn Roe v. Wade was leaked in May. Much of the public was outraged by the news then, and even more are angered now.
Roe v. Wade was a ruling that gave women and individuals with reproductive systems the constitutional right to have safe and legal abortions. Now, the power has moved back to the states to decide if they want to allow, limit or ban legal abortions.
“We therefore hold that the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion. Roe and Casey must be overruled, and the authority to regulate abortion must be returned to the people and their elected representatives,” Justice Samuel Alito said in an opinion. The overturning of Roe v. Wade came at a 5-3 vote.
Justices Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, the three liberal justices, released a statement following the decision to overrule. “With sorrow — for this Court, but more, for the many millions of American women who have today lost a fundamental constitutional protection — we dissent,” they said.
In the same statement, the three justices stated how overruling Roe v. Wade undermines the court’s legitimacy with the people. They also note that the overturning of Roe v. Wade opens the door for the rights to gay marriage and contraception, both high-court rulings, to be threatened.
By removing legal abortion rights from the federal level and putting it back into the states’ hands, many state government officiants are outlawing abortions. Outlawing abortions could allow for the states to require death certificates for any kind of terminated pregnancy, including miscarriages. If not reported, these occurrences could be judged as a federal crime.
People who have committed a federal crime are considered felons, and felons are not allowed to vote. Not only are states attacking bodily autonomy, but they are encroaching on the 19th Amendment by targeting a problem that only victimizes women or people viewed by the state as women.
This is an attack on women and individuals with a uterus. If one were to miscarry, they could be taken to court and prison, stripping them of their right to vote all because they lost their baby. Where is the sensitivity toward that? Miscarriages are never planned, and unfortunately many women will experience at least one in their lifetime. Then again, demonizing a natural phenomenon is something our government is very familiar with, circling back to laws against LGBTQIA+ individuals and our long history of racism.
This ruling fails to acknowledge any scientific statements about how the human body works. Abortions are about so much more than just ending an unwanted pregnancy. The decision to abort a fetus can stem from the baby dying inside the womb and the individual being unable to pass it. Additionally, the fetus is unable to survive in the case of ectopic pregnancies, where the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus. Without this procedure, the would-be mother dies. It is not very “pro-life” to force a woman to die over an already deceased fetus.
This overturning is not just a step backward, but a leap toward a very scary time for America. The overturning of Roe v. Wade comes only weeks after the passing of a law that protects constitutionally the right to conceal carry firearms. It seems America only cares about children before they are born. Say what you will about gun reform, but concealed guns are only ever intended to hurt other human beings, and children always seem to be caught in the crossfire.
An abortion is a difficult decision without interference from the U.S. government, and people should not be forced to deal with scrutiny or legal affairs after such a vulnerable procedure. Mothers should not have to fear losing their lives over a potentially dangerous pregnancy. Young people should not have to fear carrying a baby to term if they are raped.
Life is a precious thing, but it has become clear through this ruling that some lives are more precious than others.