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Editorial: Sexism Undeniable Following Possible Roe v. Wade Overturn

Updated: May 30, 2022



A leaked draft opinion proposed the overturn of Roe v. Wade (1973), the landmark Supreme Court decision acknowledging the “right to privacy” of women with regard to an abortion up to a certain point in pregnancy. The Supreme Court confirmed the draft was valid, but not official. The formal decision is expected next month.

If Roe v. Wade were overturned, the legality of abortion would be the decision of individual states. It is forecasted, though, that about half of the states would make it illegal, according to a map provided by The Philadelphia Inquirer. The state of Texas already bans abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. Usually, a woman does not know she is pregnant until at least 5 weeks. Florida bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. According to NPR, “the ban does not make exceptions for cases of incest, rape or human trafficking”. However, if an abortion would save the life of the woman, it would be allowed.

An article by NBC15 noted that the Supreme Court ban “prohibits all abortion without any exceptions for rape, incest, or the health of the pregnant person’”. Although a crime should not have to be committed on the body of a woman for her rights to be considered, forcing a woman to bear a child of unwanted conception is cruel and inhumane. Ultimately, the Roe v. Wade overturn lacks any true empathy toward women.

Conservatives arguing in favor of the overturn, accuse abortion of triggering mental and physical harm. Many believe that life begins at conception. Christian teachings also highlight abortion as a sin, as they claim it lacks respect for the unborn life. However, it was proven and explained in an article by Nature, that this was untrue and that “being denied an abortion resulted in some negative financial and health outcomes”. Such outcomes could cause neglect of a child, as a result of resentment from a struggling parent. Additionally, some women may try to perform an abortion on themselves. An incomplete abortion can result in hemorrhage and uterine perforation according to Our Bodies Our Selves

Now, all sexual, gender, and civil rights are threatened because if Roe v. Wade were to be overturned, other precedent-setting cases may be overturned as well. Expert and professor, Alison Gash, supported this statement in an article by PBS: “‘Literally the logic that allows for a woman to argue that she has a right to choose to have an abortion is the same logic that is used to argue that gay couples have the right to choose and marry the partner of their choice’’”. The nation would undeniably be moving backward, as these precedents have formed the foundation of American civil rights. Furthermore, healthcare is already limited to people of color. The abortion ban could restrict it even more. Monica Raye Simpson, the director of the Southern reproductive group Sistersong, stated in an article by ABC, “‘when we live in a world in a country where access to health care is already extremely limited to people of color…that is a problem’”.

Ultimately, reproductive rights are human rights. And women deserve the right to choose.

 

Megan Pitt is a staff writer at the Incandescent Review. She is a high school student studying in New Jersey who loves writing about social issues, editing prose for Cathartic Literary Magazine, and being the Editor-in-Chief of her school newspaper, The Lion’s Roar.

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