Opinion: Supreme Court Sets Women Back 50 Years


The 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, which made abortion legal in every state, was officially reversed by the US Supreme Court on Friday. The ruling was issued shortly after Politico revealed in May that a majority of the Court’s conservative justices were prepared to overturn Roe.

I reached out to the students of ABAC to get their opinion on the historic landmark ruling. Caitlin Carter is a sophomore Agriculture education major who advocates for women’s rights, “Today, a basic human right was stripped of women. Roe vs. Wade was a detrimental case in the fight for women’s rights. We reserve the right to make informed decisions about our bodies. Getting rid of abortion does not mean that they are actually getting rid of abortion; they are just getting rid of the safe way. It is our bodies and our right to our bodies; no one should be allowed to tell us what we can or cannot do with them. Without that freedom of being able to dictate what happens to OUR bodies, we are no longer full citizens of the United States.” She said.

After hearing arguments on a Mississippi statute that directly opposed the famous abortion-rights case, they made their choice. The decision profoundly alters access to reproductive health care in the United States after almost 50 years of constitutional safeguards for abortion. In anticipation of the overthrow of Roe v. Wade, thirteen states have already passed “trigger laws,” some of which will take effect right away and others over the next few hours and days.
These laws aim to restrict all or almost all abortions. There will likely soon be other prohibitions. Before the Supreme Court, practically all abortions were prohibited in Oklahoma. The three justices wrote the dissent. We dissent, the justices said, “with sorrow—for this Court, but more so for the countless millions of American women who have now lost a basic constitutional right.” They criticized the decision’s potential effects on the legal principle of stare decisis, which asserts that, barring unusual circumstances, courts must follow established legal precedent even when they disagree with it. According to the three liberal justices, the Supreme Court abandoned “its guiding values” by overturning Roe.

This decision opens up the possibility of other rights getting outlawed, such as same-sex marriage. “The low-hanging fruit is contraception, probably starting with emergency contraception, and same-sex marriage is also low-hanging fruit in that it was very recently recognized by the Supreme Court,” Sepper said. This legislation has been around for fifty years and has allowed women to access abortion resources safely. This does not leave any options for women who seek abortion in cases of rape, incest, etc… Americans answered, 66 percent to 34 percent, that they did not want the Supreme Court to entirely reconsider its ruling in a May CNN survey taken shortly after the draft opinion was leaked. The percentage of people who favor entirely reversing Roe has never gotten beyond 36% in CNN polls conducted since 1989. According to a CNN survey, 58 percent of US citizens answered that if Roe were overturned, they would prefer their state to adopt more lenient abortion regulations. A little more than half (51%) of respondents said they would want to see their state turn into a safe haven for women who needed abortions but could not receive them where they lived. Abortion has been a hot-button topic for years under both major political parties. Many states have stated in the past, that they are seeking to ban abortion if the legislation gets passed.

Religion-based opinions should have no bearing on legislation in the united states. Our country is a mixture of diverse people of all different denominations. Public opinion will surely contain some religious ideology, which is fine, but Religion should not have sway over how a woman controls her bodily autonomy. As the south gears up for the soon-to-be legislation restricting or banning abortion, women all over the united states are indeed feeling the impact of this historical curveball. All eyes will be on American politicians in the coming months.

Photo via Unsplash.com

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