This is a highly controversial topic and honestly, I almost don’t want to get into a debate about it. But some things weigh on you and if you don’t say your bit, you will carry it with you till it crushes you. This is one of those for me. I am going to try and treat this fairly but also give my opinion.
It has recently been leaked that the Supreme Court intends to make a decision that will reverse the ruling of the landmark case Roe v. Wade. Even if you aren’t into legislation and politics you know this case, it was taught in schools due to its importance. In this court case in the 1970s, the Supreme Court decided that a pregnant woman had the right to decide for herself if abortion was something she wanted. Essentially, the pregnant woman did not lose her body autonomy when she became pregnant. This ruling has stood as the landmark case in the fight for women having the right to make decisions regarding their health for over 4 decades. The current Supreme Court seems to have decided that they do not agree with the decision made back then and are going to make it completely illegal for a woman to get an abortion.
Why is this so controversial?
There are a number of reasons why this announcement has caused such an uproar. Conservatives have gotten a win they have been pushing for years. A major Supreme Court case that shaped decades of American legislation is being overturned. I am no poli-sci major but I think that is unheard of. And then you can get into the issue itself which has been a hot topic across the nation since well before the original Roe v Wade case even came to trial.
Are our forefathers smarter?
In America, we have a weird almost God-like obsession with our founding fathers and what they created and would have wanted for this country. I have heard so many arguments about issues that include the words “our founding fathers did not intend for it to be like that”. Well, our founding fathers didn’t understand electricity and would have passed out from how we treat immigrants since they were in favor of gathering “huddled masses yearning to break free”. We like to imagine that our founding fathers had some grand plan and that they thought of everything in their laying out the framework for our nation. But it is just that a framework.
We cannot claim that the Bill of Rights and the Constitution are the end all be all for some cases and not others. If we claim the Bill of Rights does not protect the right to abortion because we were not intended to have it as the founding fathers intended, we have to allow for the other things it does and does not protect. At no point does the Bill say the right to bear arms IF you pass all the tests and are registered. We have a right to a fair and SPEEDY trial. Do you know how long it takes to get a trial in the United States? We have folks sitting in prison for years waiting for their case to be heard.
We can’t assume the documents written at the founding of our nation are capable or intended for use as a rulebook when handling today’s issues. And if we are going to rely solely on the wisdom of the founding fathers, then we need to stop being hypocrites and rely on it entirely. We have a bad habit of picking and choosing just to listen to the things we want.
Is the question about murder?
If the rolling back of the decision on Roe v Wade is about murder aren’t we arguing about the wrong topic? At no point did the original case ever state that the nation agreed with abortion. It never said that the powers that be were in favor of abortion or that it was a good course of action. It simply gave the woman the right to legally have it as an option.
Most of us can agree murder is bad. Yet as of 2021 we still had 27 states that practiced the death penalty. So murder is bad unless a group of your peers has listened to a convincing argument and decided together that you deserve it. We think that we are smart enough, right enough, and powerful enough to actually purposefully murder people based on what we think they have done wrong. Yet we also think that a woman has no right to make that decision regarding an intruder in her body? We have condemned people for less than breaking and entering.
Women already do not have control of their healthcare
Women already get questioned, chastised, and overlooked regarding the health of their bodies. It is very normal for a woman to be questioned regarding her decisions about what she wants when it comes to her health. A woman has to have her husband’s permission to get a hysterectomy on the off chance that HE might want more children. Every woman reading this has been to a doctor for pain or sickness to be told she is overreacting or that she is simply not handling her “time of the month” as well she should be expected to, only to find out later she had an infection, mono, or even cancer. There is no equivalent for men.
No man has gone to the doctor with back pain and been told to go home and take two Advil because it’s just cramps and most men don’t even feel them. No man gets testicular cancer and has to get his wife’s written approval before treatment incase SHE wants more children. No man sits in a doctor’s office with his wife talking about his condition and finds the doctor giving the details and explanations completely to her because it’s too advanced and he might not understand it.
If this reversal happens, women are losing a small piece of control that they had over their own healthcare options. Now they will be forced to take matters into their own hands which many will do, or carry an unwanted baby to term. What happens then?
Will this reversal address what will come after?
If this vote goes through, 2 things are going to happen. The number of done-at-home abortions is going to go up along with the number of deaths of young mothers from these procedures, and the number of newborns placed up for adoption will grow. The court seems very interested in protecting life which is great. But they need to make sure that if they make the choice that the baby’s life is more important than the mother’s that they have prepared to deal with the consequences.
Orphanages, shelters, adoption agencies, and child welfare organizations are going to need more help and more funding. There needs to be a revamp of the system anyway because right now it is broken. It needs to be cheaper to adopt so that willing parents can take these kids without having to spend their entire college fund before they even get the chance to raise them. All of this needs to happen anyway but with the influx of kids that a law like this would cause it would become desperate.
How will this be enforced?
Has the court considered how this will be enforced? It is one thing to make it illegal and expect doctors to just stop offering it. That part will be easy. But women have had to take matters into their own hands for years and this won’t stop them. Will performing an at-home abortion result in jail time? Suppose a girl was pregnant and then she isn’t. Will police investigate that? How will they know the difference in a miscarriage and an intentional abortion?
And what about the other guilty party in this? It takes two people to make a child. If the woman is forced to carry the child for 9 months the father should be forced to pay child support for those 9 months. Giving birth in a hospital is expensive, maternity clothes are expensive, and maternity leave is not enough most times to pay bills. If the girl gets caught trying to have an abortion and the man has not already signed papers saying to put the child up for adoption or that he will assume sole responsibility for the child upon birth, he should be subject to the same punishment for an illegal act as she is. He has to take responsibility for his part in the problem.
The man and woman should be punished the same way. If the woman is giving up the rights to her body then the man needs to be on the hook for at least the same time frame.
My 2 cents
I don’t agree with abortion. I think there are other options. But one of my favorite quotes seems very appropriate in this given situation.
I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.
Just because I don’t agree with a woman’s choice to get an abortion doesn’t mean I don’t think she doesn’t have the right to. Just because I am on a diet it doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to eat that cookie. Do I think more people need to practice safe sex and take responsibility for their actions? Absolutely. Every drug store pharmacy has condoms and folks should use them. But I also know sometimes you do things right and life kicks you anyway. We know condoms aren’t a 100% guarantee. And a baby is not a lesson to learn about safe sex, it is a person that now must be provided room on our planet and raised and cared for and that is a lot to ask. We are so worried about protecting the baby we forget that it will be a person.
To me, this court case isn’t about being pro-life or anti-life. We have plenty of life here on Earth that we are doing a terrible job looking after. This case comes down to us trying to make a choice for someone else that we have no right to make. I don’t get to decide what you do. You can make your decisions. You have to live with those consequences but you get to decide. I don’t get to walk in, pretend I know your situation, and can make the best choice based on some preconceived moral high ground.
So judge the case, judge me however you want, but I believe in the right to make choices for myself, especially regarding my own body, and others’ disapproval of my choices does not negate my right to be able to make them.