By: Alexis Paulson
On June 24th, 2022, the United States was taken back in time when women didn’t have as many rights as men. The Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade with a 5-4 decision, in which most of the Supreme Court justices are men. Roe v Wade established the right to safe abortions in 1973. This gave the states the power to ban abortions and set certain laws to restrict abortions. Several states quickly added abortion bans and laws to their personal agenda. The majority of the country and even other parts of the world were shocked by the Supreme Court’s decision and even furious. Several protests broke out across the country as our fear for our bodily rights would be stripped away.
Fighting for Years
Women have been fighting for their rights for hundreds of years. For the longest time, we were seen as men’s property and had no say in how we lived our lives. Women couldn’t own property or even have control over their earned income. Equal pay between women and men still continues to be a struggle in today’s society. There are still several instances where a man is paid more than his fellow female colleagues. Overturning Roe v Wade and states following it with bans on abortions is just going lead to women feeling like our only role in society is to be housewives and child bearers.
Several states have already passed some kind of ban and regulations on abortions, including Alabama, Idaho, Kentucky, Georgia, Indiana, and several others. Some of these states haven’t fully outright banned abortions but have set restrictions to where abortions couldn’t happen at the six-week mark of pregnancy. Most women don’t even know they are pregnant until they are about five or six weeks pregnant, and at this point, it is too late for them to do anything about it.
With several states banning abortions, many women have to turn to traveling out of state to a safe state to seek out an abortion. Travel has become one of the biggest barriers for women seeking abortions. Traveling out of state leads to a higher total cost of abortions. With gas prices soaring due to inflation currently, many women aren’t able to afford to be able to travel a long distance out of state. Low-income families most likely won’t have the means to travel for an abortion. Now someone more on the wealthy side can finance their trip out of state. We also have to think about the time needed to access adequate care. Overall it feeds into this cycle of poverty in low-income areas of America, and there is no way for improvement if these women are forced to have children they can’t afford to take care of. Children deserve to be born into healthy conditions, the best their parents can provide.
Several states have outright banned abortions, even if the mother’s health is at risk. Several occurrences have already happened where the mother’s health is at risk and could lead to death, but the doctors cannot do anything with the recent bans on abortions. Doctors cannot save these women as they are worried about their licenses being revoked or even taken to jail. With some of these states banning abortions at all stages, this has even led to rape victims being forced to continue to carry their assaulter’s spawn. For the next nine months, they are continuously reminded of this trauma. This could lead to a decline in their mental health and lead to worse situations where they could take their own life or even the child’s after it is born.
Overturning Freedom of Choice
This overturning has even led to more women seeking hysterectomies and tubal ligations. There is still a good chunk of doctors out there that won’t perform these procedures without the husband’s consent. Or if the woman has already had a set number of children. Again, women are being controlled. They have their man’s approval for something they want to do with their own bodies. This goes back to my point that we as women, are seen as just property. Luckily, my OBGYN will perform either of these for me with no questions asked. I already know that I do not ever want to have children. I know I wouldn’t make a good mother as I can barely even take care of myself mentally and financially. If you didn’t know already, children cost a lot of money. The hospital bills of having them add to the total cost of having a child.
The overturning of Roe v Wade had thrown the United States back to a time when women’s sole purpose was to be homemakers and bear children. Our bodily rights have been stripped from us. Several states have decided we have no right or say in what happens with our bodies. With them easily taking this basic human right away, what is stopping them from taking others away? There is fear that birth control and even gay rights will be on the agenda next. Our government was put in place to protect us and ensure we still have rights while maintaining certain standards. Our government has failed us. Women in several states no longer have the right to safe and legal abortions.