On Monday, May 2, a leaked draft containing the Supreme Court’s opinion on Roe V. Wade stated that they are attempting to overturn the judicial landmark.
On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court voted 7-2 which meant that women should have the right to an abortion without the United States Gov. stepping in. About 20 years later, a similar case was being argued in Pennsylvania.
The Pennsylvania legislature altered an abortion law in 1989 which stated that abortions could not be performed unless the women wait at least 24 hours, and if married, notify their husbands. The question at stake was whether these restrictions went against Roe v. Wade’s abortion rights because it protects pregnant women’s rights to have an abortion without any government barriers.
Pennsylvania’s Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania sued then-Gov. Bob Casey Sr. over the Abortion Control Act. Planned Parenthood thought it violated Roe’s holding that access to an abortion was a Constitutional right. The Abortion Control Act of Pennsylvania was finally enacted.
After 50 years filled with protected reproductive rights, the justices feel the need to revoke abortion rights which ultimately leaves each state to determine whether or not to ban abortion.
When news broke late Monday night/early Tuesday morning, the entire United States was hit with an earthquake of emotions. Millions of women are scared for their lives because they are unsure of what could possibly come next.
The Women’s March for Reproductive Rights Fresno chapter has once again stepped up to comfort their community.
“When it comes to the seriousness of the draft opinions,” says Samantha Snow, a 21-year-old committee member. “We are prepared to demonstrate the seriousness of overturning Roe.”
On Saturday, May 14, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., the Women’s March will hold another protest in honor of all women who share the same fear, frustration, and reproductive discrimination. It will take place on the corners of Blackstone and Nees Avenues by the River Park shopping center.
Just six months ago, the Women’s March gathered at the same intersection to express their outrage toward a Texas law of May 2021 banning all abortions when a pregnancy hits the six-week mark. ‘Following in our same footsteps,’ as Snow put it.
If Roe V. Wade is successfully overturned in 2 months, it will not only rid of abortion rights, but also, privacy, access to contraceptives, or even the removal of sexual education classes in high schools.
Though a woman’s right to an abortion is the central issue in the case, many lawmakers and scholars warn the ruling could undermine Constitutional rights to privacy, as recognized by Supreme Court jurisprudence. Speaking to the press Tuesday, May 3, 2022, U.S. President Joe Biden said, “I hope there are not enough votes for it. It means that every other decision involving the notion of privacy is thrown into question.”
University of New Hampshire professor of Law Tiffany Li told The Privacy Advisor magazine, “Yes if the court strikes down Roe, this could impact many cases involving privacy rights. Rights to abortion, contraception, same-sex marriage and more could all be at risk now.”
Many individuals are hopeful that the Supreme Court will take back their votes since it is possible to change their minds, even as close to a day or two before the final verdict. “We cannot and will not stand for this insane overreach and undermining effects that undermining Roe will have on reproductive health,” says Snow.
The justices’ new interpretations of The Constitution will continue to create new ways of stripping equal rights from minorities. With a little less than just two months away until the draft is made official, this leaves many Americans rethinking their rights to freedom and privacy.
As of now, there are 26 states that are preparing to ban abortions. The context behind the need for an abortion will not have any extreme relevance after Roe V. Wade is overturned. The fear for women’s health is at an all-time high due to the possible lack of legal resources. At least 22,800 women have unsafe abortions and die because of them, according to a study done in 2018 (Newsnationnow, https://www.newsnationnow.com/us-news/how-many-women-die-from-unsafe-abortions/).
With over half of the states planning to ban abortions in the near future, women’s lives will now be at a higher level of mortality.
For more information regarding the march, contact Women’s March Fresno on Instagram: womensmarch_fresno.