OPINION: Overturning Roe v. Wade is devastating for women, but also the nation

Protestors in front of the Supreme Court holding a vigil for reproductive freedom in December 2021. Photo courtesy of Flickr. 

Ren Sikes | Opinions Editor

As of Friday, women and people who have a uterus no longer have the constitutional right to an abortion. Many state governments have already banned abortions, but this Supreme Court decision sealed the fate of women all over the country. 

I would like to make one thing perfectly clear: The decision to remove this constitutional right and to ban abortions will not stop abortions; it will only stop safe abortions.

Not only that, but people of color will feel this impact the most. According to the Population Reference Bureau Black women are over three times more likely to die from pregnancy related issues than white women. 

Similarly, according to the World Health Organization, “4.7–13.2% of maternal deaths can be attributed to unsafe abortion.” This decision is only going to make having a safe abortion more difficult and out of reach for women all over the country.

The only way we can stop abortions all together is by providing sex education, better healthcare, making contraceptives more accessible and affordable, and countless other things that politicians have already turned down or denied. 

While there is still some hope for those of us who have uteri who live in or around the west coast and some parts of the north east where abortion is likely to remain legal, that isn’t the case for everyone. 

This infographic produced by the Washington Post has more information on the likelihood of abortions bans in the near future. 

What’s worse is that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is considering overturning other SCOTUS decisions such as Griswold v. Connecticut, Lawrence v. Texas and Obergefell v. Hodges. If you are unaware of the details of these cases, I strongly encourage you to read more about them, because they may directly affect you or someone you know if they are overturned. 

Griswold v. Connecticut protects couples constitutional right to marital privacy against state restrictions on contraception. If this ruling gets overturned, it could take away your right to condoms and other forms of birth control. 

Lawrence v. Texas covers the right for a same-sex couple to have consensual sex with eachother. If overruled, same-sex couples will have to worry about being arrested and tried with “deviate sexual acts” when having safe, consensual sex with their partner in their own homes. Once again, an issue of privacy. 

Obergefell v. Hodges is the supreme court decision that allowed same-sex couples to get married. Gay marriage would no longer be protected if this decision gets overturned. 

Upon further research, I found out an interesting tidbit about the last two of the three cases Justice Thomas wants to overturn next. In both cases, the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg voted in favor of the decision and Justice Thomas voted against it. This fact only makes me miss her more. 

As a person with a uterus, a person who has sisters, friends and loved ones with uteri, I am deeply saddened by this decision. Just know that you are not alone, and that you do have people supporting you. 

Read more from Flyer News on SCOTUS overturning Roe v. Wade here.

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