Updated June 24, 2022
In a 6-3 vote, the United States Supreme Court overturned the historic ruling of Roe v. Wade on June 24, 2022.
Under the Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade, a woman is guaranteed the right to choose whether or not to have an abortion. This right to choose has been threatened for several years, but the leak containing information about the Supreme Court’s plan to overturn Roe has significantly increased the credibility of this threat.
The Leak and Its Implications
On May 2, 2022, Politico obtained a document in which the Supreme Court expressed its decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Within the document, Justice Samuel Alito explains that this case was “egregiously wrong from the start,” and that “Roe and Casey must be overruled.” The leaked draft opinion containing these beliefs was confirmed to be true by Chief Justice Roberts Jr. With five conservative justices out of nine on the Supreme Court bench, it is likely that Roe v. Wade will be overturned. If this ruling were to be overturned, the responsibility of protecting a woman’s right to choose would fall to the state.
One of the implications of this is that states which are notorious for their restrictions against abortion would be able to enforce these laws. Several leaders from both political parties have come forward to express their opinions, while protesters on both sides of the issue have also done the same. However, a final decision regarding the validity of Roe v. Wade will not be made most likely until June or July.
Around eight months ago, I wrote an article focusing on Texas’s new restrictive laws on abortion. I am enraged and devastated to be writing an article about how this restrictiveness will now spread throughout the country. Furthermore, I feel betrayed by the government who is planning to reclaim possession of my body.
I have always attempted to keep an open mind and be respectful of others’ opinions. However, I have found this rather difficult in regards to the debate about a woman and her right to choose. While I can empathize with and respect a woman’s reasoning to not get an abortion, I simply cannot understand why their reasoning can be used as a means to justify why someone else should not get one. When we refer to the diversity of America, we cannot solely refer to race and ethnicity. We must take into consideration the diversity of thought and circumstances present in our country, meaning that the logic that can be applied to one woman’s situation is not always applicable to another’s.
I have heard all the arguments in depth, both for and against abortion. My opinion on this issue stems from one fundamental argument: we are unable to fully understand her situation, nor do we have the right to. I believe that a woman should have autonomy over her body and life without the interference of others. Yes, some people knowingly do not take preventative measures, and some people are careless. Some people were unexpectedly and unwillingly put in this position. Some people are simply financially or emotionally incapable of having a child. Regardless of how a woman is placed into this situation, the government shouldn’t be able to dictate how they proceed.
I have never envisioned myself being in a situation where I would need to exercise my right to choose. However, taking into account the possible future of Roe v. Wade, I will no longer have a right to exercise. I would no longer be provided with the comfort of options in an instance when the comfort of options is needed most. A choice will have already been made for me by people who do not and cannot fully understand my circumstances.
Without delving into the logistics and hypocrisy, I wonder if those who support the Supreme Court in overturning Roe v. Wade fully understand the harsh realities of restricting abortion access. Women will not stop having abortions; they will stop having safe abortions. Instead of dedicating energy to controlling the bodies of women, why is energy not being spent on safe sex education? Why is there a lack of accessible and sufficient medical and emotional support for pregnant women? How is banning abortion a viable and effective method of solving the problem?
I have always believed that being open-minded and receptive to others’ beliefs allows productive conversations to take place. While I stand firm in this belief, I hope that you can understand some of my frustration with continuously having to justify why I believe women should have the ability to make our own decisions about our own bodies.
For more articles on women’s issues, visit Alabama Girls State: Religion, Youth, and the Future of Alabama
Publisher’s note: GirlSpring is a platform for girls to express themselves and have their work published. The opinions shared do not necessarily reflect the opinions of GirlSpring.