The leaked Supreme Court drafts obtained by Politico reveals that ruling of Roe v. Wade might be overturned. This historical ruling, which has been the precedent for 50 years, would allow states to outlaw abortions. The overturning of Roe v. Wade would be detrimental to an individual’s reproductive rights.
But what exactly does that mean? And why would this ruling potentially be problematic?
Five states (Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Utah) have near-total bans. Thirteen states have “trigger bans” in place currently. That means if Roe v. Wade is overturned, these bans would immediately take effect. The Washington Post has made a tracker of the abortion laws by state.
As the overturning of Roe v. Wade isn’t a total restriction on abortions, it is a bit difficult to keep track of each individual state’s reaction. Depending on the state’s political lean, someone with a uterus would be affected differently. Some states are working on near-total bans, other states are working to protect reproductive rights. New Jersey is one of the blue states who have protective measures in place.
Bans on abortion could potentially lead to restrictions on IUDs and birth control, as the anti-abortion laws are vague enough where “abortion-inducing drugs” could be legally interpreted as Plan B (commonly known as the morning-after pill) or other contraceptives. Though this is unlikely, it cannot be entirely ruled out. Reproductive rights are already being invalidated.
How much more time would it take for lawmakers to put restrictions which progressively revoke these rights?
This decision would also disproportionately affect Black and Hispanic communities, who experience higher poverty and abortion rates. Therefore, it would be more difficult for them to travel to get abortions. According to a major study from the University of California, San Francisco, people who are denied abortions struggled economically, were more likely to be single parents, and were at higher risk of developing serious health problems. They’re also more likely to suffer from anxiety and lower self-esteem, as well as depression.
“Roe has been the law of the land for almost fifty years, and basic fairness and the stability of our law demand that it not be overturned,” said President Biden in response to the leaked documents.
“Although the decision is not final from the Supreme Court, there is reason for concern based on the draft that was presented. Unfortunately, we are at a moment where the precedent set 50 years ago is under question. There is potential for this decision to affect individuals disproportionately because even if abortions are deemed illegal, it will not mean the end of abortions but reverting back to ‘back-alley’ abortions that are dangerous and, in some cases, deadly,” said Wayne Hills history teacher Ms. Logothetis.
There are enormous consequences to the Supreme Court’s decision, and many people are anxiously waiting on new developments.
One of these people are sophomore Emily Kozak.
“I feel like women and politicians worked so hard to let us gain the right to an abortion its extremely discouraging to see that it can all go away. This is only going to stop safe abortions from happening. This puts women in even more danger,” she said.
And statistics reveal that pregnancy-related deaths could rise 20% or more after the overturning of Roe v. Wade, according to calculations by the CDC.
After hearing the news, students at Wayne Hills had a variety of responses.
“I think the decision is extremely harming. Honestly, it’s kind of stupid,” said sophomore Daliyah Abu-Hadba.
“If you don’t have a uterus, I don’t think you should have a say in it,” said sophomore Faith Weisberg.
It seems that many of the protesters across the nation feel the same way as many students and staff of Wayne Hills. Many gathered outside of the Supreme Court with picket signs, and some are even standing outside of the justices’ houses.
“I believe that the possible decision about Roe v. Wade is extremely scary for young women especially. Just starting out our lives and careers, it’s terrifying to think that a single mistake could ruin your life. This is a woman’s right issue, it always has been. Women deserve the freedom to choose how they’ll live their life,” said junior Hanna Hajdu.
Many Americans have been left feeling betrayed by the leaked draft. The only thing people can do now is to protest and pour their energy into making sure that the outrage is heard by those in power.