Bans off our bodies

The overturn of Roe v. Wade would upset 50 years of progress for women’s rights in America


Photo obtained from Flickr

People protest on the steps of the Supreme Court. Despite the decision not yet being final, people have swarmed to the court to oppose the opinion.

Roe v. Wade, the infamous 1973 Supreme Court case in which the ruling protected a pregnant woman’s right to have an abortion, is up for debate in our country once more. A leaked decision draft written by Justice Samuel Alito stated that SCOTUS had voted to overturn the ruling, reversing the effect and leaving abortion laws up to the states to decide. While the court addressed that this is not a final draft, many Americans were outraged at the news. 

The draft leak insinuated protests around the country. People crowded outside the Supreme Court to voice their responses to the draft, holding signs that read “Bans off our Bodies” and “Keep Abortion Legal.” While many of the responses were from people who opposed SCOTUS’s majority opinion, there were also people there in support of it. A decision of this scale that will have such a large impact on society will no doubt cause turmoil and evoke strong emotions from both sides. 

While it has been assured that the opinion was just a draft, the Supreme Court’s majority of conservative justices leads many to believe that if it is put to a vote, the court will have the majority to overturn the decision. 

An overturn would remove the nationwide ban on abortion, and allow the states to make their own laws surrounding it. According to an NBC News analysis of data from the Center for Reproductive Rights, abortion would be banned in almost half the states in the US should the Roe decicion be lifted. 

This ruling would be an incredible step backwards for women’s rights in America. The original Roe decision helped women gain body autonomy; the right to do what they choose with their bodies. To reverse it would be to take that right away.

Furthermore, making abortions illegal will not stop people from having them. While some may find it difficult to admit, illegal activities still occur despite the laws, and by banning abortions, a state would simply be banning safe abortions. 

The case that challenged a Mississippi law about abortion and sparked the resurfacing of this discussion, Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, is expected to be decided in late June to early July, and with it, there will be a decision on the fate of the Roe decision. No matter the outcome, it will split our country. It is already causing an uproar of opinions, which is, arguably, what we need. We need the voices of the people of this country to be heard, and we need disruption in order to get to change. Especially when it comes to issues like these, issues that threaten rights that women earned almost fifty years ago, we must speak up for what we believe in.