In a statement, Gov. Gavin Newsom called the draft Supreme Court opinion “an appalling attack on the rights of women” across the country.https://t.co/WcYHnFMqRg
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) May 3, 2022
The Supreme Court opinion to overturn Roe vs. Wade was leaked last night, and people are outraged—for good reason!
This goes far beyond the discussion of whether abortion is morally or ethically “right.”
Abortions will continue, regardless of whether they are legal or not. But the ruling in Roe vs. Wade was to ensure the health and safety of those procedures instead of endangering the lives of women who would otherwise attempt to terminate their pregnancies in more harmful manners.
If passed, the leaked opinion would fundamentally strip women of the bodily autonomy that has been in place for half a century.
There are at least 26 states that are likely to ban abortion if the Supreme Court dismantles Roe vs. Wade. Florida and Oklahoma just signed new abortion laws, and other states already have laws at the ready if the current ruling is struck down.
Furthermore, the decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade and return abortion laws back to the states sets a precedent for the Supreme Court to overturn other important civil rights rulings.
Same-sex marriage, interracial marriage, and access to contraception might be next. The Supreme Court doesn’t need Congress, presidential approval, or the support of the public to limit these individual rights. It has been referred to as the supreme law of the land, which is dangerous considering the ultra-conservative and almost dystopian views the majority of the current justices share.
And those who are of the opinion that if states make laws against abortion, gay rights, and interracial marriage that people should just relocate are missing the point. First, it’s not that easy to just pick up and move away from family, friends, and careers because of ever-changing laws. And second, no one should have to do this.
The truth is that we all need to evaluate the bigger picture here and think about what comes next.
These hard-won civil rights battles could be lost in an instant, which would essentially set our country back 50-plus years. And it would take enormous amounts of time and effort to make headway on them again.
A friend recently asked me why I cared about these issues so much, considering none of these laws would personally affect me—and therein lies the bigger problem.
We can’t turn a blind eye to political issues simply because they don’t impact our own lives. We need to care about the people who are affected. We need empathy, understanding, and respect for our fellow Americans.
Personally, I am against abortion.
I think every life is precious, and there are alternative options.
However, I am still pro-choice because everyone’s situation is different and, most importantly: if it is not my body, it is not my decision.
What is severely lacking in society today is the recognition that we can disagree with something while respecting that our opinion shouldn’t automatically determine the rights and freedoms of others. Everyone seems to think that their opinion should be law, which is a dangerous worldview.
Our lives shape our beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and opinions, and people come from different upbringings with a wide variety of life experiences. Instead of shutting down and refusing to hear those who think differently than we do, we should strive to understand what led them to their point of view.
If we discuss opposing ideas mindfully, instead of refusing to listen to each other, we might find some middle ground. In today’s world, people are so quick to react emotionally that conversations are often missing logic, critical thinking, and common decency.
Even in the aftermath of this leak, the debate about whether abortion is morally right or wrong remains.
But the leaked opinion isn’t about that—it’s about power.
Roe vs. Wade didn’t weigh in on whether abortion was morally just, it simply ruled that women should have safe access to this medical procedure. And taking away that right from women is only the first action on the agenda.
Unless we want The Handmaid’s Tale to become our reality, we cannot afford to be apathetic about this decision.