2022: For the Overturning of Roe v. Wade

Joanna Haggerty, Writer

In 1973, The Supreme Court decided to allow all abortions from the moment of fertilization through the third trimester. Over the years, many court cases have risen against the passing of Roe v. Wade asking whether abortion is supported by the Constitution. This question was answered in the Dobbs v. Jackson’s Women’s Health Organization case on June 24, 2022, when Roe v. Wade was overturned causing an uproar in the states. The judgment sent it back to the states to decide the mortality of each individual from inside the womb. Giving the decision to make choices about abortion to the states made it fundamentally possible for some areas of the United States to outlaw abortion. 

Overturning Roe was not decided overnight. This decision was something that was in the process of many years of other court cases questioning the ruling of Roe v. Wade. For instance, in 1987, third trimester abortions were banned in the state of Texas. A more recent ban on abortions was in Mississippi which limited any abortions after 15 weeks under the House Bill 1510 in 2018. These were the type of bans that slowly lead up to restating of the federal rights behind abortion. Dobbs was the Supreme court case that created a new path in the abortion argument in 2022. This case brought attention to the previous stare decisis of Roe, to be re-evaluated. Dobbs was not the argument that made abortion illegal, Dobbs v. Jackson’s Women’s Health Orginization was the case that made abortion a priority of the states instead of the Supreme Court. This case was the turning point for the anti-abortion movement. 

The overturning of Roe v. Wade did not stop abortions, but it is proving that abortion was not a fundamental right to begin with. One major pillar comes into play when deciding whether something is right or not it must be protected by the Constitution. For the case to be properly done, there must be a supportive section or amendment that explicitly states that it is protected by the Constitution. In the Roe v. Wade case many claimed that the 14th Amendment; no state can deprive one’s life, liberty, or property without due process, confirmed that abortion was included in the rights of the people. This argued as an incorrect right given to the citizens since the 14th Amendment does not forwardly explain or include abortion. The National Library of Medicine agrees that abortion is not a freedom given to citizens. Liben P. said, ”Some Americans think that abortion should be permitted at some stages of fetal development and in certain circumstances, while others strongly oppose abortion under any circumstances. Americans enjoy certain fundamental liberties which are protected by the US Constitution. The right to abortion is not one of these freedoms.” The NLM later explained how the decisions to allow Roe v. Wade was only because the Supreme Court was under pro-choice judges who overpowered the opinions of opposing citizens.  

“Overturning it, I think is big, though it’s not as big as some people think. All the overturn of Roe v. Wade does is bring the issue back to the states on a state level.””

— Ms. Epland

Roe v. Wade being overturned acknowledges the flaws within the case’s claims. Bans and limitations have been put on abortion ever since it was made legal, as a result, it has now been given to the states. OHS history teacher Ms. Laura Epland said, “Overturning it, I think is big, though it’s not as big as some people think. All the overturn of Roe v. Wade does is bring the issue back to the states on a state level.” Abortion is something still in the cycle of deciphering whether it can be allowed in certain circumstances but after the overturning, all that is left is the decision of each state. 

Even though abortion is not a fundamental right and is not supported by any amendment without having to create another, many use the phrase, my body my choice. Yes, each individual has their own choices regarding what they do with their body. But what others don’t take into account is that there are two bodies involved in abortion. Both the mother and the child have rights. But what about the baby’s rights? It is scientifically proven by the College of Pediatricians that human life begins at the moment of conception. Therefore, the child or fetus should be given the right to live. 

Abortion can be perceived as a medical procedure that assists those in need of help. Making it seem to be harmless with no extreme post-surgery side effects to mothers. Allowing abortion to be presented as a part of each woman’s medical health. When abortion can psychologically cause mental harm that can lead to grief, depression, and drug use.

Mental health is something society is focusing more on as cases arise. Something our peers need to take into account is the long-term effects on those involved with abortion. The mother’s conflicting thoughts through pregnancy are being exploited by the structure of our “empowering” society, which supports women taking unconstitutional measures just to affirm their dignity as a woman. Abortion does not empower women, it breaks them. A study called The British Journal of Psychiatry stated “81% of post-abortive women experience depression”. A society that celebrates equality can not justify a procedure that harms women so consistently. In 2017, The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons conducted a study on the long-term effects of abortion. They found that “67.5% of women needed help from a mental health professional after having an abortion. In addition, 51% of women relied on prescription drug use post-abortion because of their mental health.” Many of these mothers felt immense loss, self-hate, shame and regret after aborting their children. Giving mothers another issue when they were told having an abortion would make their lives easier when it’s only causing more pain. 

Now that the decision is in the states hands, citizens will have to vote to decide the outcome. All we can depend on is the truth about abortions coming to light. Terminating a child is detrimental to women’s rights, born and unborn, and is something that American society should not have access to. No matter what the situation is, a life is being lost through each abortion. Giving the power to legislate on abortion to the states is allowing lives to be saved each day.