News | June 26th, 2022

Roe V. Wade Overturned: The Supreme Court Erases 50 Years of Women’s Rights

By: Brianna Luberisse
Roe V. Wade Overturned: The Supreme Court Erases 50 Years of Women’s Rights

Here are the facts. In 1970, 25-year-old Norma McCorvey filed a lawsuit against Henry Wade, the then district attorney of Dallas County, Texas. Under the pseudonym, “Jane Roe”, McCorvey served Wade who had inflicted no personal wrongdoing onto her. Yet, as the county’s top enforcement official, Wade was Roe’s key gateway to challenging local abortion legislation. In Roe’s lawsuit,  she alleged that the state laws, which made abortion illegal except by a doctor’s orders to save a women’s life, were vague. These laws contradicted her right to personal privacy, which were protected by the First, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments. 

The state came to the decision that if a woman is pregnant in the first trimester, only the woman and her physician can make the decision to have an abortion – granted the fetus hasn’t reached visibility. Thus, the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in the case of Roe V. Wade ruled that the U.S. The Constitution generally protects a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose. 

The Supreme Court ruled this on January 22, 1973, and recently overturned this ruling on June 24, 2022.  This overturning sets us back to the year 1973. We are back to a time where states have the right to outlaw abortion. It is now not only a crime for a woman to choose what is done with her body, but physicians who perform abortion services are subject to prosecution. This decision has erased nearly 50 years of choices made by women. The Supreme Court withdrew women’s power to make their own decisions and deposited that power to lawmakers. 

After this ruling half the states in the country could move to wipe out abortion access, that leaves over 36 million women at risk making the people suffer. These are the same people the government swore to protect, listen to and do right by. Twenty-six of the 50 states are certain or likely to ban abortion. Of those, 13 have ‘trigger bans’ in place – a law that will take effect immediately. 

Multiple women will start to have children before they’re ready, under the circumstances of rape, incest, and accidents. Women will now be forced to carry a child to term. Not only does this raise depression, adoption facility overflow and underground abortion rates, but it will also cause shortages in baby formula, food and much more. Now, a predominantly-male Supreme Court, with little-to-no ideology of what goes on in a woman’s body when carrying a child, has the final say. 

With the overturning Roe v. Wade, it is believed to cause more distress on Black, Latino, and Indigenous communities. These same communities were already burdened by systemic racism, which restricted their access to healthcare and other opportunities. With this decision, healthcare will be spread thin, increasing the mortality rate of mothers and their children. Women of color are already living in a world where their maternal mortality rate is 3.5 times higher than that of white women. Black women are three times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause than any other race, according to a study conducted by the CDC.

Not only do women of color have to fear police brutality, but must now fear going to the hospital, giving birth to a child that they didn’t want, wondering if they are going to make it out of the hospital alive. If they survive those early threats, they face not having to provide for said child and fearing for the life of this child in a world that slaughters Black and Brown kids every day – just for the cycle to repeat if they were to give birth to a girl.

“We the people,” means that the citizens of the United States have and always had the authority to control the government. Not only did that already exclude people of color but now it excludes women. A woman’s right to choose what is done to her body is up to her and her alone. Good job America, you failed again.