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Students Speak On SCOTUS’ Decision to Overturn Roe Vs. Wade: Pro-Choice Edition

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Students Speak On SCOTUS’ Decision to Overturn Roe Vs. Wade: Pro-Choice Edition


Students Speak On SCOTUS’ Decision to Overturn Roe Vs. Wade: Pro-Choice Edition 

Disclaimer: This article mentions abortion, rape, sexual assault, extreme poverty, and domestic violence. Viewer discretion is advised. 

This summer, the Supreme Court overturned Roe Vs. Wade, which made abortion legal in 1973. Since this decision, state governments have debated on how to apply this. In Texas, as of August 25th 2022, abortion is illegal in Texas. The only exception is life-threatening conditions that would harm a pregnancy. If you obtain an illegal abortion, you may be charged with a felony and sued for $100,000.

When I heard the news that Roe Vs. Wade fell, I was on a study abroad program in Spain. As I returned to the United States from Spain, I felt anxious, knowing that I just lost my reproductive rights. Southwestern sophomores Jadyn Rhodes-Cruse and Bella Morrow were also on my study abroad program. Morrow echoed my sentiments: “Hearing the news made me never wanna go home.” Rhodes-Cruse commented, “Abortions will never stop, but by limiting access to safe ones, they are jeopardizing the safety of thousands of women in the US.” 

I could write a whole article on my opinion that abortion should be kept legal and accessible, but for the purpose of this article, I will keep it brief. There’s always been philosophical debate on when life begins, but the reality is this: women and people with uteruses’ will have more of a chance to die from being forced to give birth, whether it be by a partner or their rapist who doesn’t want them pregnant, by themselves, or by various health problems, such as ectopic pregnancy. I’ve seen women who would be in serious danger if they became pregnant. I’ve volunteered at a couple of domestic violence shelters and I have heard calls in the with who have been raped by their partners, terrified of the possibility of pregnancy. People close to me have been raped and were luckily able to have the resources to get emergency contraception. An aquaintence of mine who would have died during an ectopic pregnancy, if she didn’t have access to abortion. 

The dangers that forced birth brings to women is one that produces problems for the women’s life, the life of their child, and the state of this county’s family services. Maxfield commented that “adoption places are going to become even more full, and they already are underfunded.” Rhodes-Cruse worries about women’s protection from violence, which she believes that this law “instead punishes the victims more than the average convicted rapist in Texas will ever face.” 

To have nine Supreme Court justices, six of whom are men, who are not directly elected by the American people, decide what I can’t do with my body infuriates me, to say the least. It infuriates Southwestern senior Carson Maxfield as well, who believes, “It’s an outright violation of about a half of this country’s population, and it also puts gay marriage, and other cases that apply to the right to privacy at risk.” He worries about other constitutional rights that have been previously decided by the Supreme Court. For Owen Fitzgerald, a senior at Southwestern, he believes that it’s “unfair that we cannot directly vote for a Supreme Court justice. Having only a few people make decisions for millions of Americans seems unethical.” Rhodes-Cruse believes that “there is an extreme lack of separation of church and state in this country.”  For Morrow, she stated that she “cannot fathom people putting the life of a fetus over the life of a woman that that fetus is growing inside of.”

Maxfield perceives the debate over when life begins as a distraction. To him, claiming the label “pro-life” is a cover-up to seem like they have the moral high-ground. “Pro-life would mean bettering the quality of lives, like expanding healthcare, ending homelessness, ending mass incarceration, amongst other things. We don’t typically see those efforts from people who claim to be pro-life.” Morrow agrees that “it’s not a matter of human life. If this was true the death penalty would be outlawed, and treatment within prisons would be far better.”

1 in 4 women had had an abortion in their lifetime. The reality of taking away choice is horrific, and the Supreme Court Justices know this. Forcing people to have children increases their likelihood of remaining or becoming in poverty, of having to comply with harsh working conditions, becoming victimized again, and an increase of existing health problems. It also is a class issue. As Rhodes-Cruse put it, “Wealthy women and families will always have access to abortion and be able to travel to other states in order to ensure that it happens safely, while lower class citizens will struggle to access them.”

I asked my interviewees how likely they believe Texas state government is going to urestrict abortion. Maxfield said that he is doubtful that this will happen: “In the midterm elections, I think that pro-choice candidates, if they win, may be able to unrestrict abortion for their constituents. But, in Texas as a whole, no, I don’t think so.” For Rhodes-Cruse, she commented that she “know[s] that Beto O’Rourke and Greg Abbott are very close in the polls, and I know that Beto has promised to legalize and fund safe abortions.” 

This highly controversial Supreme Court decision has revitalized some people into taking action. I asked Maxfield what kind of action can change abortion laws, in which he said, “Get your friends in on participating in things like joining organizations, or going to protests and signing petitions.” For Fitzgerald, he said that he “changed my voter registration to be able to vote in Georgetown, and I know I will be voting for the side that gives more rights to people (Democrat).” 

It is a very scary time for women and people who have uteruses. Please watch out for fake pregnancy clinics, that seem to offer pregnancy help, but actually shame and discourage people from seeking abortion. Rhodes-Cruse warns people to be “careful and aware that there are a lot of people out there who make fake websites to trick people.”

Abortion is illegal in Texas, but not in some neighboring states. Medication abortion that is mailed has more grey areas in legality, and these laws are being changed weekly. Currently, it is legal to travel to another state to get an abortion. While these barriers to healthcare are unfair, there are abortion resources out there. These are comprehensive, and not fake clinics. Here they are below: 

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