It has been a crazy time in American history, everything from the pandemic to riots, an economic downturn, and now our human rights are at risk. The recent court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade immediately rolled back close to half of the states’ abortion rights. Biden called it, "a sad day for the court and country." The Supreme Court decision clashes with the majority opinion. A recent Gallup poll shows only 13% of Americans support Anti-Abortion laws. Roe v. Wade being overturned goes against the due process clause of the 14th Amendment that provides a fundamental “right to privacy”, which should protect a woman’s right to abortion. With the government sticking their nose in women’s business, it’s a violation of human rights over a woman’s body.
(Pictured above: on the left Norma McCorvey a.k.a. Jane Roe next to her lawyer Gloria Allred)
The original case of Roe v. Wade was brought to court by Jane Roe (Roe), pseudonym for Norma McCorvey, was decided January of 1973. Henry Wade (Wade) was the district attorney of Dallas County, Texas; where Roe resided, Wade represented Texas in Supreme Court. The Supreme ruled 7-2 in favor of Jane Roe, restricting states from excessive government restrictions on abortion and labeled Texas laws against abortion as unconstitutional. The Texas laws violated the liberty guarantee of the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment (“… nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process law”). Repeated challenges over the years narrowed the scope of the issue but was never overturned.
A major challenge that tried the abortion rights arrived in 1992 with Planned Parenthood v. Casey, fortunately Roe v. Wade ruling upheld in court. The court held that the right to abortion is not absolute and must be balanced against the government’s interest in protecting women’s health and prenatal life. It was allowed for states to implement abortion restrictions that apply during the first trimester of pregnancy. Since then, Anti-abortion politicians and activists have sought for decades to overrule the decision.
(Pictured above: abortion protest at Union Square in New York)
Early May of this year, a leaked draft opinion written by the Supreme Court Judge Samuel Alito surfaced through the media. Alito stated, “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” expressing the opinion of the majority votes from the old Conservative Judges (Neil Gorsuch, Bret Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett, and John Roberts). On June 24th, The Supreme Court’s 5-4 vote overturned Roe v. Wade, a federal law that has been in place since 1973, way outside of bounds of public opinion. The court’s decision gives back individual states the power to set their own abortion laws. The law will ban or severely restrict abortions in 26 states, 13 of those will do so in the next 30 days, 6 immediately ceased abortions after the law was overturned.
Though it will still be legal in most liberal states, many young women seeking abortions where its outlawed will have to cross state lines in order to perform an abortion. Women’s reproductive rights now come down to geography, class and race. Poor and women of color will be affected most.
The overturn of Roe v. Wade immediately made women second class citizens, pushing back 150 years of progression for woman’s rights. A woman should have full control of her body without a third-party interfering. Taking away women’s freedom is putting democracy at risk. American citizens should not have to bend to the Supreme Court’s religious and moral views. Sometimes old conservatives mentally still live in a time that is not applicable to current times. This landmark ruling has been one of the biggest setbacks in modern history.