Roe v Wade Overturned: What this Means for You


Allison Moddelmog, Reporter

On May 2nd, a news story leaked about a draft opinion from the Supreme Court which states that Roe v. Wade would be overturned. A Supreme Court press release issued the following day stated that the leaked document was in fact authentic.

Roe v. Wade was a landmark case that states that the Constitution protects a pregnant woman’s right to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction. Laws banning abortion may also prohibit different types of birth control, such as IUDs, birth control implants, shots, pills, and patches. Along with that, the right to access contraception may potentially be under attack as well.

When the case was first proposed, the name Jane Roe was used as a pseudonym for a woman named Norma McCorvey, who wanted to have an abortion in Texas. When she was denied the right to have one, she sued the district attorney of Dallas County, Texas, Henry Wade. By the time the Supreme Court ruled in McCorvey’s favor, she had already had her baby and given it up for adoption. Although it was not the turnout she had hoped for, this case is still extremely significant and continues to impact our world almost half a century later.

Moving forward to today, the initial draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito states that it was a 5-4 vote that Roe v. Wade must be overturned. “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” stated Alito in the document.

When this is passed, it will be an immediate ending to almost fifty years of guaranteed protection of the right to have an abortion and each state’s right to decide to restrict abortions or not. When this case is overturned, there are many other cases that could be overturned as well. For example, cases like Loving v. Virginia which regards interracial marriage, and Obergefell v. Hodges which protects same-sex marriage will be up for debate.

In a poll taken by CNN, only 30% of Americans are in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade, and according to the National Abortion Rights Action League, 8 in 10 Americans support the legal right to abortion. (National Abortion Rights Action League)

On top of that, many current or former republican politicians who claim to be pro-life have actually paid for abortions in their lifetimes. These politicians include Elliot Brady, Scott Lloyd, Tim Murphy, Scott DesJarlais, and Mark Robinson.

In states with certain drug bans, people still take those drugs, as it doesn’t limit their resources to them, it just makes them illegal. For example, there have been 9,692 arrests for the possession of marijuana in Kansas between the years of 2014 and 2016, according to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). Although Kansas enacted a law banning marijuana in 1927, there have been tremendous amounts of arrests regarding the possession of that drug. This actively demonstrates that even if there are laws regarding issues that some may deem harmful, there will always be people that breach those laws, which will ultimately become more dangerous in the long run.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, studies have shown that in countries where abortions are illegal, the rates of abortions have actually gone up. (Guttmacher Institute)

 This is an incredibly bad thing because, in these circumstances, the abortions are done in illegal and unsafe ways, and often result in death. “People who think that abortion didn’t occur before Roe are wrong,” Christa Ramey, a civil rights attorney said. “Women just died before Roe.” The treatment for an ectopic pregnancy is abortion. The treatment for a septate uterus is abortion. If a mother doesn’t get those treatments, there isn’t anything else to do, and she will most likely die.

According to The Commonwealth Fund, the United States has the highest maternal mortality rate among developed countries. Forcing a woman to give birth in a country with that statistic, plus almost no paid maternity leave, no universally subsidized child care, and frequently inaccessible mental health care is outrageous. Furthermore, studies have shown that women who want an abortion but did not have access to one or were turned away were four times more likely to live in poverty as a result of that.

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of bodily autonomy is “the right for a person to govern what happens to their body without external influence or coercion.” Roe v. Wade being overturned is taking away women’s rights to bodily autonomy. No one can be forced to donate blood, bone marrow, or organs even though there are thousands of people that die each year on waiting lists for those things. Your organs can’t even be harvested after you die unless you have given permission previously to do so.

An estimated three million children are exposed to shootings every year. On top of that, more than 3,500 kids are shot and killed each year. There have been 1,389 school shootings in the US so far since 1970. Why don’t we focus more on protecting the lives of children who have already been born? To further this point, there are over 400,000 children currently in foster care in the United States. According to Alternative Family Services, foster kids are seven times more likely to have depression and five times more likely to have anxiety than non-foster kids. Additionally, one out of every five teens who age out of the foster care system does not have a home by the time they turn 18. Efforts should be made to improve the lives of children already born.

Regardless of where you stand on the issue, it will likely impact your life or the lives of those around you either directly or indirectly.  Roe v. Wade being overturned can cause a slippery slope of overturned cases in the future. In order to make a difference and voice your opinion on this topic, vote on the Kansas Constitution vote on the August 2nd ballot.