Hello! Were you expecting me? I know it’s been a while- ok a really long while- since I’ve last posted, and I’m truly sorry about that. I’ve had a handful of things to do this summer and have been so busy I haven’t been able to do many other things. Although some would argue it’s not that busy compared to what others do, it has been extremely busy for me and so because of that I have not been able to work on posting. But enough about my busy summer, I have a new post over something recent- not really recent- but a major event within political history. The overturning of Roe v. Wade.
The main reason I chose this topic is because a) it’s a landmark Supreme Court Case – now overturned- that is used in so many other cases throughout the years, b) because it is something that can alter so many things in the upcoming future for so many people, and c) because me being a girl means I am one of those people whose lives are now changed.
Roe v. Wade:
Roe v. Wade is a legal case in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled (7-2) on January 22, 1973, that “unduly restrictive state regulation of abortion is unconstitutional.” (Britannica: Roe v. Wade) It struck down many federal and state abortion laws, as well as fueled an ongoing abortion debate in the United States about, “whether, or to what extent, abortion shoudl be legal, who could decide the legality of abortion, and what the role of moral and religious views in the political sphere should be.” (Wikipedia: Roe v. Wade)
The case was brought by Norma McCorvey- legal pseudonym “Jane Roe”- who in 1969 became pregnant with her 3rd child. She wanted to get an abortion, yet she was living in Texas where abortion is illegal except when necessary to save the mother’s life. After a ruling in her favor from a special three-judge court of the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Texas, it was taken to the Supreme Court. On January 22, 1973 the Supreme Court issued a 7-2 decision holding that the Due process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides a fundamental “right to privacy”, which protects a pregnant woman’s right to an abortion.
Before I start with what I think, I wanted to share a small opinion about the case itself. Not the decisions but rather the people involved. I feel like the basis on why Roe wanted to get an abortion is wrong. She had originally wanted an abortion, but since Texas says it is illegal to have one, many of her friends said that she should assert falsely that she had been raped by a group of black men in order to gain a legal abortion. Although it was never successful, I feel like making up a lie using something realistic and widely happening in our society isn’t right. Rape isn’t something to joke about, and in my opinion shouldn’t be used lightly. I don’t know the full context on the decisions and on what really happened so I can’t say much, but I do want to point out that using a false statement wasn’t right, and by doing so it felt as if rape was taken lightly to use for her own personal reasons. Probably not, but to me it feels that way.
For me, I would say I’m more pro-choice. I believe that it should be a woman’s right to decide what to do, especially since this is her body. Giving birth is a huge thing. Even just being pregnant is something huge within itself. It’s not easy, and requires full dedication towards the full time. Giving birth itself is very dangerous. It’s strenuous , painful, and can be a life-threatening thing.
However, it is proven that abortion is a safe medical procedure that protects lives. Compared to child birth, the death rate for legal abortions is 0.7 deaths for every 100,000 abortions, and 9 deaths per 100,000 deliveries. Medication abortion has a mortality rate of 6.5 deaths per one million patients.
Having an abortion in itself isn’t easy either. It’s not as if the mother/woman is so willingly going to give up her child. It’s not an easy decision for her as well. However, based on the circumstances of her situation or anything else, she has a reason why she needs to. It’s not a “convenience” and an “easy way out”. Abortions are often because of family obligations and concerns about future children. They base their decision mainly on the ability to stay financially stable and care for their current children. It’s not an easy way out, but instead a painful and difficult decision. They do this while considering what’s right for the baby. They look ahead at the kind of life the baby would have based on finances and the ability to care for other children and dependents.
According to verywellhealth.com, there are many, similar, reasons why a decision for an abortion is made.
- Not financially prepared: 40%
- Bad timing, not ready, or unplanned: 36%
- Partner related reasons- New or bad relationship, would be a single parent, partner isn’t supportive, partner doesn’t want the baby, partner is abusive, partner is the “wrong guy”
- Need to focus on other children: 29%
- Interferes with educational or job plans” 20%
- Not emotionally or mentally prepared: 19%
- Health-related reasons: 12% – concern for their own health; concern for fetus’ health; use of medications, other drugs, alcohol, or tobacco
- Want a better life for a baby than they could provide: 12%
- Not independent or mature enough: 7%
- Doesn’t want a baby or to place the baby up for adoption: 4%
Another reason is also disease and genetics. (Inherited diseases) According to theconversation.com, “…each of us is more likely than not to be carriers for a disorder that would be legal before adulthood. As carriers, we are not affected by the disease, but are at risk of transmitting the disease to children if a partner is also a carrier.” For families that have experienced a serious inherited disorder, subsequent pregnancies are traumatic. Abortions are a critical option and are a security feature that allows them to consider having children again. While there are other options such as adopting, sperm or egg donations, or pre-implantation diagnosis of embryos, these all can become financial, social, or even moral burdens that some women can find impossible. Abortion should be seen as an available option if necessary. It doesn’t necessarily ALWAYS have to be used, but in certain times when truly necessary, something that can be considered and done. It can help prevent watching children die of untreatable disease.
People who often oppose abortions often criticize people with unplanned pregnancies, saying it’s irresponsible and those people should have used birth control. And that’s partially true. However, even with birth control, there are more than half of pregnancies that still occur.
Adoption. People also say, if you don’t want the child just give it up for adoption. It’s not that simple. Although that could be an option, it’s still quite dangerous for a woman who is not fit (emotionally or mentally) to have a child, give birth.
Another thing I want to bring up is rape abortions. There was a recent article of a 10-year-old being raped and getting pregnant. 10-year-old. That poor child had to travel to another state to get an abortion, since her state doesn’t allow abortions. Are you seriously going to force a 10 year old child, someone who is still learning, still maturing, still is a child and is dependent on their own parents, to become a mother and raise a child themselves??? Do you not understand how bad this is? How much pain and trauma can this have on her? Do you seriously want this poor child to suffer and go through pain, and a life-threatening thing just because you think abortion is wrong and the fetus is a living person? What if she dies??? Who knows what could happen.
In short, it should be a woman’s decision on what they should do. Some politicians should not be given the right to put their own beliefs and opinions into a decision that affects my body. The thought of having someone who I don’t even know make a decision about my own body and choice is a bit uncomfortable. I should have the right to decide what I do to my body and why. (I refer to women/ me as a woman/girl) I’m the one who knows it best. Not only that, I’m the one who knows what happens in my life. Those mothers and women have the strongest connection with the fetus and baby. They are the ones who should decide. It’s not like they willingly want to for fun and because all of a sudden they don’t want a baby anymore. Sometimes they’re not ready for it. If they give birth, based on their current life/status, the baby may not have a happy life. Or maybe the baby may not get all the love they deserve. Those mothers/women don’t want the baby to go through that. They want to raise a child with life and care in a good, steady, comfortable part of their life where they can emotionally, mentally, and financially support the child and their needs. They look forward and try to hope for the best for their child. This decision they make is difficult, but often necessary.
Abortion should be a choice made by the person having one. I believe that they are the only ones who can make the best decision for themselves and the fetus/baby. They should be the judge on what to do, and apply their own morals, experiences, opinions, etc. into a decision for themselves. They should not be pushed nor forced by others to do something they don’t want to or prevent them from doing. It should be an available option when necessary, no matter what.
The last thing I want to talk about is rights. After the overturn of Roe v. Wade, there have been so many claims and protests saying abortion is their rights. I agree as well. But, for how long will we continue saying this? Will we continue protesting and demanding for a change and that abortion rights are women’s rights until the decision is flipped again? And then what happens after that? What happens then if it is once again flipped? Will we continue going back and forth? Instead of blaming these politicians and governors for making these decisions, shouldn’t we instead try to make it an official declaration? Shouldn’t we make it final, make it an official law that abortion is women’s rights? The job of the Supreme Court is to interpret the meaning of the law, and decide whether a law is relevant to a particular set of given facts. That means, based upon the majority of what the judges believe in the Court at that time, the decision/law will be interpreted differently. You can interpret something differently based on your beliefs or opinions, and that changes the outcome of things.
A Supreme Court Justice remains in office as long as they choose and can only be removed by impeachment. That means we probably won’t be able to flip the decision again until the judges change to become in favor of pro-choice. Who knows how long that will take. So instead of continuously blaming governors and so many other people for making a decision that a state can have abortions or not, why not go and make it a law. Put it into the Constitution.
The Bill of Rights are the first 10 amendments added to our Constitution. They were made for us to have rights and the freedom to do things. For example, the right to speech or religion, the right to not incriminate yourself in court, the rights not written yet still given to the people, etc. The entire purpose of the Constitution is to guarantee certain rights to the people.
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
That is the exact wording of the Constitution. It articulates the rights of citizens that institutions, procedures or legislation must not infringe, and which the state must strive to ensure. This being said, if you want to have abortion rights, shouldn’t we make it an amendment to the Constitution? By doing so we could establish it is a right, and no one, not even the states can infringe our right from it. Make it official.
Before Roe v. Wade was overturned, people were able to get abortions. This being said, now that it is illegal in some states, are those women who want an abortion, no longer equal to those who previously could? We believe and try so hard to promote equality, equity, and bring everyone to the same level as one another within our needs, yet by not giving these rights, aren’t the two not equal anymore?
The United States is often an example for others. We’re seen as a role model, a country that supports our allies and is the land of the free and home of the brave. Our entire government was built upon establishing our rights and freedoms we were denied of in England. When we don’t give equal rights to women to have abortions, wouldn’t other countries follow suit? Wouldn’t they see us differently? Aren’t we pretty much contradicting what we stand for? So is it really fair to remove a woman of her rights to have an abortion, when this not only makes her less equal to those who have before, but also to those in other countries who can today? (I’m not trying to compare countries or other people living in them, but trying to show how by banning abortion rights women are no longer equal to one another as well as others-not just women- in the world as well.)
Below I’ve linked some sources that helped me during my research on this topic. They give both sides to the debate and were interesting to read though: