Roe vs. Wade And The Struggle For Bodily Autonomy

Noya Chirashnya

Once again, women’s rights to bodily autonomy are under fire, due to the recent court case of Dobbs v. Jackson being argued in the Supreme Court. The current Supreme Court is very conservative, with six out of nine judges being right-leaning. This means that the chance of Roe v. Wade, the biggest case in the struggle for abortion rights, being overturned or at least changed is very high. The case of Dobbs v. Jackson is centered around the Mississippi law that bans abortion at 15 weeks, which is a massive contradiction to Roe v. Wade. Before we dive into why this situation is terrifying, it is important to give a little bit of context about Roe v. Wade. 

In 1971, the case of Roe v. Wade argued in front of the Supreme Court. A pregnant single woman, Roe, challenged the constitutionality of Texan abortion laws, arguing that it infringed on her 14th amendment rights. Back then, the laws on abortion were simple. Abortions were illegal unless it was by medical advice to save the mother’s life, completely leaving the idea of the right to bodily autonomy in the dark. The case rippled through the country and gave rise to many different opinions, before finally being decided on Jan. 22, 1973. Roe won her case which started the progress for people’s own rights to bodily autonomy. 

There are no federal laws on abortion. Roe v. Wade is the one thing that is keeping from abortion being completely banned. That is what is terrifying: the right to bodily autonomy being left up to a Supreme Court with 6 of 9 judges being conservative. If Dobbs v. Jackson does get overturned, it will make sure that more than half of our states will have even stricter abortion rules then they do now. 

Many conservative politicians claim that getting an abortion is an easy and light hearted decision, but it is nowhere close to that statement. Not only is abortion emotionally traumatic, it is also extremely painful and involves cramps that last up to a couple of days after the procedure. 

Even if the procedure of abortion wasn’t painful, people who need an abortion do not owe anyone an explanation for their own right to bodily autonomy. 

49 years ago, the Supreme Court came to a decision that changed the history of reproductive rights forever. 

49 years ago, countless women and others felt relief. 

49 years ago, the Supreme Court made the right decision. 

Taking away abortions has absolutely no positive effects on women’s health and rights. All it will do is force women to find ways to get an abortion, most of which are unsafe, according to the Center for Reproductive Rights. It creates problems that were supposed to dwindle away as the progress for bodily autonomy went forward. Taking away abortions will not, ever, keep people from getting one. Organizations such as Planned Parenthood gave women who didn’t have the opportunity to get medical attention and affordable medical care, the chance to choose how their life was going to go and our own Supreme Court is taking those chances away. 

It is predicted that the Supreme Court will come out with a ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson in the summer. This summer will either be a celebration and a huge boost for all the progress in gaining rights for women’s bodily autonomy, or a mourning for all the progress lost. 

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