By: Julia Ordaz
In a majority vote in 1973 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Texas laws criminalizing abortion violated women’s freedoms and were therefore unconstitutional. Under the pseudonym “Jane Roe” Norma McCorvy challenged Dallas county District Attorney Henry Wade over the right to terminate pregnancy. This landmark trial was named Roe v. Wade, and after three years the justices came to the conclusion that the government could not excessively interfere in abortions, with a 24-week limit.
Aside from the initial shockwave that this case made throughout the United States, the lessened restrictions on abortion have helped to polarize voters. The challenges and support of Roe have played a large part in political campaigns and can easily influence a voter’s decision. There are oftentimes only two different takes on abortion: pro-life vs. pro-choice. Most pro-lifers believe that every fetus is already considered a human life, and to abort is to commit murder. Many people who identify as pro-choice believe that it is a human right to be able to choose whether or not to carry a baby.
December 2021 may have these pro-lifers hopeful. The Supreme Court Justices have been presented with a Mississippi bill that wants to criminalize abortions after a 15 week period with exemptions for medical emergencies or unless the fetus is severely disfigured. The justices have mentioned that they do not want to be “politically involved,” but have clearly signaled that they are leaning towards accepting the bill. According to NBC News, “anti-abortion activists feel like they’re on the cusp of history.”
If the Mississippi bill goes through Roe v. Wade will cease to have power therefore being overturned and completely disregarded. With Roe gone we can expect a large rise in abortion laws nationwide. If Roe v. Wade were to be overturned another big question could be brought up. How much claim does the government have over other aspects of our lives? The overturning of Roe v. Wade could lead to significant questions of the government’s moral authority, but will stand as an example that this morality could be powerless.
Two years ago, New York Times Journalist Michelle Goldberg predicted that “a post-Roe America won’t look like the country did before 1973, when the court case was decided. It will probably look much worse.” California governor Gavin Newsom has announced that if Roe v. Wade was overturned California would become an abortion “sanctuary.” Recommendations given to and being considered by the governor include providing funding to cover travel expenses for those seeking an abortion in California and providing funding for the abortion clinics that have women who are unable to pay for the service. Buckle up and keep your eyes on the news.