Our Bodies, Not our Choice


Adelyn Rabbitt, Reporter

As of Friday, June 24, 2022, the bodily rights of many women in America have been ripped away from us. The United States Supreme Court made the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision from 1973 which made abortion a constitutional right. As a result, the fifty years of protected abortion rights for women in the US have been put to an end.

By overturning Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court has given individual states the power to set their respective abortion laws. This means that the right to legal abortion for each state is based on the beliefs of the lawmakers in said state. This five-four majority decision has caused an uproar among women all over the United States. The fact that women now don’t have full rights over their bodies is disgusting, and honestly terrifying. Even worse, the fact that this decision was voted on by nine justices, six of which are men, and only three of which are women. The majority of the Supreme Court justices being men is undoubtedly very questionable in itself, let alone the fact that these men are allowed to vote on a law that concerns women’s bodies and what they decide to do with them.

As for Indiana, lawmakers passed a nearly total ban on abortion which will begin on September 15th, 2022. The exceptions are for some cases of rape, incest, fatal fetal abnormality, or to avoid the death of the pregnant woman. So, while there is still no active ban on abortion in Indiana at the time of publication, this will change in a matter of days.

The fact remains that making abortion illegal does not put an end to abortion. It is likely to actually increase the amount of illegal, unsafe, and fatal abortions that are attempted, due to the lack of legal abortion opportunities. Amanda Jean Stevenson, an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Colorado Boulder, did a study on the effect that an abortion ban would have on the deaths of females. In her study, she wrote, “My conservative estimate found that the annual number of pregnancy-related deaths would increase by 21% overall”. As she stated, illegalizing abortion will undoubtedly increase the number of women dying from attempting to do an inherently unsafe home abortion, or even going through with their pregnancy.

Not only is the ban on abortion a looming fear for many women, but one of the nine Supreme Court justices, Justice Clarence Thomas. suggested that the court revisit other decisions, including laws concerning contraception and same-sex marriage. He specifically requested the overruling of the right to contraception, the right to same-sex intimacy, and the right to same-sex marriage. This uncertain future would not only affect women, but also same-sex couples. The power that these nine people have to completely reverse and destroy the lives of thousands of people is unbelievable. In addition, banning contraception would likely only lead to more unplanned and unwanted pregnancies, which would then lead to the increased need for abortions. This would, in turn, increase the number of unsafe abortions being carried out due to the abortion bans in many states.

None of these decisions would be intelligent for the Supreme Court to overrule, but that won’t stop them. Women have already lost their protected abortion rights, so what’s next? Until the system is changed, this will continue to get worse. We, the citizens of America, must end the cycle.