As of June 24, 2022, The Supreme Court has overturned the court case Roe v. Wade (1973), calling for a restriction on access to abortion healthcare. This decision has caused people all across the United States to speak out and protest the court’s beliefs.
The revolt is strong and steady, but what does this mean for the future of the nation?
What direction is this path going for the United States?
Roe v Wade, established in 1973. It was a 7-2 court decision that allowed women to have access to abortions and to terminate a pregnancy within the first and or second trimester.
Fast forward to 2022, the Supreme Court drafted this decision from deciphering the Constitution.
In Justice Alito’s ruling, he wrote “the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion.”, therefore abortions can get banned on any account. He considers abortions “gruesome and barbaric” and defeats the government’s goal of “preservation of prenatal life at all stages of development.” In all reality, they’re banning it because they have the ability to do it.
It seems the government is more caught up in the practical idea of abortions, but in medical standards, it appears to cause more harm to women who need procedure.
At OCCC, Professor of Nursing, Jennifer Peters considers abortions as a form of healthcare, and that restricting the access is going to be detrimental to women.
“Half of this is an issue of healthcare. It is being made into an issue of religion. And it’s not looking worldwide complications of unsafe abortions…procedural abortions…complications of unsafe abortions is the leading cause of maternal mortality worldwide.” Jennifer states.
In a similar perspective, the OCCC Chair of Sociology, LiErin Probasco sees this as questionable control over the female population.
“Abortion is just one procedure in a big umbrella group of things that create opportunities for women…if it’s your body, your choice, the choice to have a child should also not create career consequences for you.” she expresses.
The spectrum on abortions is broad, and the topic is fairly “polarizing”. But as graphic as it may seem, about 25% of women will have an abortion.
Peters explains, “it has been a polarizing topic when talked about but it has been a shared experience of so many women that has not been talked about. One in four women will have an abortion”.
With the overturning of the case, it seems to idolize certain religious beliefs, first inherited when the Constitution was originally signed.
“I think that there are a lot of things that exist in our world now that our founding fathers would have never predicted. And we have to keep that in mind when we are looking at the spirit of what they were trying to do.” she states.
And on account of those who have suffered any form of sexual violence, there are still possiblities of unplanned pregnancies. Depending on the person, that could put the person in a jeopardizing situation. It takes two to make things go right.
“For men to take control of their fertility, their option is condoms…Condoms or something permanent, like a vasectomy. Women have a bunch of other options. But they are not foolproof…then we throw in sexual violence. There is a misconception that rape victims cannot get pregnant, that is absolutely untrue. Coercion, substance use, we have all of these different things that play into it…Again, we cannot be blaming women alone for these pregnancies.” she explains
There are many aspects to keep in mind, such as living conditions and financial stability. But after the overturning, it has eliminated the access to this medical procedure. It may not impact everyone, but for some, it may be crucial.
“So, my professional opinion, women are going to die…I think it is further polarizing our country. And it is putting women, pregnant people in our state at a really big risk.”, Peters expresses.
From a sociological standpoint, Probasco can see there being a similar future on a “practical level”.
She states, “on a very practical level, this is going to create death. I mean, it’s extreme right, that there’s going to be a lot of people who are going to want to have these procedures who won’t have access to them.”
Peters continues, “This should not be about politics. This should be about health care. Abortion is healthcare…this obviously, is much more complicated than that because we are pulling in religion, and we are pulling in an individual person’s belief of when life begins. But again, that is an individual person’s belief…We can have individual people making choices that are supported by all lenses that they can look at this topic through religious, medical, cultural whatever. And right now we don’t have those options.”
The current stage the nation is in as of right now can raise a lot of questions on what direction society is heading. It’s starting with what women can do with their own uterus, and according to the Texas Tribune, the Supreme Court plans to overlook the past cases of Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), access to contraception, Lawrence v. Texas (2003), the right to be consensually intimate with whoever one chooses, and Obergefell v. Hodges (2015), the rights of gay marriage.
Justice Thomas wrote “in future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents…Because any substantive due process decision is ‘demonstrably erroneous,’ we have a duty to ‘correct the error’ established in those precedents.”
As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, Peters was “disheartened” to hear about this opinion written by Thomas.
She expresses, “Clarence Thomas’s opinion, and what that could potentially mean for my marriage is disheartening, to say the least…Our society has evolved. And we have to respect that evolution or we all need to put down our computers and throw away our cell phones. “
It seems that the government wants a higher birth rate, although if contraceptives were to be banned, this could increase unplanned pregnancies as well as a possibility of more STDs being transmitted. And aside from contraception, it’s like the government is telling people how to live. It’s unnecessary control that can be left for the opinions of the people.
As of July 8, 2022, President Joe Biden has called an Executive Order in hopes to protect abortion access. As read on BBC, this order will protect women from “potential penalties that women seeking abortion may face if they travel across state lines for the procedure.”
This action should help those who seek for abortions out of state. Along with that, there are various websites such as rcrc.org, roefund.org, plancpills.org, and guttmacher.org. They deliver different forms of birth control medication to those who need it.
Sure, there are solutions being developed right now, but the future of birth rights is unpredictable.
Peters hopes that “we’re not headed towards Handmaid’s Tale…a dystopian future show on Hulu.”
She refers to the show as how the government pretty much had full control over reproductive rights. Probasco senses a similar interlude into the future, for that access to birth control may begin to shorten.
“I think long term, what I think we’ll see is that there will be protections for birth control access, that there will be protections for access to this, whether it will be through legal means or through other means.” Probasco explains.
The likelihood of complete control can all tell with time. Until that time comes, there’s no limit on how the people will react.
Probasco thinks the people will do “what they always do” and either act on the change, celebrate it, or strategize to influence the system.
On the other hand, Peters thinks “society is going to double down on what their views were to start with.”
She believes, “these laws that are being passed, especially in a state like this. It doesn’t represent the overall opinion of people who live here.”
The health of women is important for the world, and Roe’s overturning doesn’t help when it comes to the health care women may need.