The Truth about Roe v. Wade

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Roe v. Wade influenced several future cases, one of which was Planned Parenthood vs. Casey in 1992. Another Supreme Court decision that affirmed the ruling of Roe v. Wade: the state cannot take away a woman’s right to an abortion. This case also set some parameters for abortion in America. The most important being that abortions must occur before fetal viability. Fetal viability is when a fetus can live outside of a mother’s uterus, usually after 23 or 24 weeks. I personally believe that if a woman wants to have an abortion she is in she should be able to have one.

With Justice Kennedy retiring pro-choice activists are getting increasingly worried that the ruling of Roe v. Wade will be overturned because his replacement, Kavanaugh, is a right-wing advocate, despite this, there is no assurance that it will be overturned. Because Roe v. Wade was adjudicated in the Supreme Court it governs all 50 states, meaning that if Roe is overturned the state courts will now be given the license to decide whether to criminalize it or not. For example, New York, a liberal state, might decide to keep it legal, but Texas, a conservative state, might decide to make it illegal. We must remember that just because getting an abortion is illegal in your state that doesn’t mean that your inhabitants won’t get abortions.

The World Health Organization published new estimates on abortion in 2017. According to their study, 52% of all abortions were legal and safe, the other 48% of them were unsafe, leading to an increased risk of death because they are performed by ill-trained professionals or in non-conducive environments. Case study: the United States before the ruling of Roe v. Wade in 1973. The Center for Disease Control estimated that in 1972, 130,000 women attempted to perform unsafe abortions, leading to 39 deaths.

When conducting research for this article the argument that kept coming up against abortion was that you are taking away a life. This is an especially sensitive topic, so I am going to attempt to give my views without offending anyone.

I believe that the distinctions between pro-choice and pro-life aren’t as defined as many people believe. A lot of this confusion would be cleared up if both sides opened themselves to discourse. The argument for a majority of pro-life identifiers was that in no way, shape or form should life ever be taken. This, I believe, is where a lot of the resentment stems from. Some pro-lifers believe that pro-choice people have no regard for human life. This simply is not the case, pro-choice and pro-life are not mutually exclusive. You can be pro-choice (advocating that women should get to choose what to do to their bodies) and pro-life (you don’t want babies to die) simultaneously.

People will say that this is contradictory, you don’t want babies to die, but you are equipping people with the ability to do so. I think this is a valid argument, but an overwhelming majority of the pro-choice faction, myself included, believe that women should have dominion over their bodies. We should have the power to decide what happens to our bodies, not some 75-year-old senator who will never experience a day of pregnancy.

Criminalizing abortion was one of the first things the leaders in the Handmaid’s Tale did, what’s stopping them from doing the same in our world? The Truth about Roe v. Wade is that it is a very serious topic that elicits strong emotions in people and for us to move forward we need to come together and try to comprehend the arguments of each side.

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