Are GOP lawmakers right to ask SCOTUS to overturn Roe v Wade?
- Abortion was legalized nationwide following the 1973 Supreme Court Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions. Since then, there have been roughly 62 million US abortions.
- On Thursday, July 29, 2021, Mississippi first female Attorney General Lynn Fitch submitted a brief to SCOTUS, supported by 228 Republican Congressmembers, in defense of the state’s ban on abortions after 15 weeks gestation, stating, “nothing in constitutional text, structure, history, or tradition supports a right to abortion” and therefore requires no federal court to grant the medical procedure special protection.
- Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton also submitted a brief including 28 other states supporting Mississippi and SCOTUS overturning Roe, writing, “This Court has [advanced] a constitutional law of abortion for half a century, and [...] [b]ecause the purported right to abortion lacks any textual or historical foundation, it is defined only by the Court's constantly changing opinions.'
- Under the legal doctrine of “Stare Decisis” (Latin for “let the decision stand”), SCOTUS is apt to uphold past rulings that have been handed down and impacted legal principles. However, over 200 decisions have been overturned by SCOTUS since 1895.
- Gallup polling records how the country has remained narrowly divided on the subject with 48% identifying as pro-choice and 46% as pro-life in 2020.
While many supporters of abortion will generally cite Roe v. Wade as their defense, it must be remembered that the landmark case does not represent a win for Constitutional rights. Nowhere in the US Constitution is abortion a protected right, but rather, it has been considered as such based on a loose interpretation of privacy rights. The GOP lawmakers involved in the upcoming Mississippi case noted this in saying, 'the 14th Amendment cannot be interpreted as justifying abortion being legal.'
Due to the highly controversial nature of Roe and the inability of either side of the argument to consider the opposing viewpoint, it makes sense to give individual states the right to decide their own abortion laws instead of simply making the practice legal on a federal level. This could also help in reducing division in the country if the abortion debate is no longer a topic of discussion in Supreme Court cases or Presidential elections.
There has obviously been much discussion about Roe v. Wade and abortion itself since the case was passed in 1973, and it is arguably time to finally reconsider its outcome. Since its passing, there have been medical advancements and research completed that point to the viability of a fetus before birth, which further suggests that the sanctity of life must be protected. The topic of abortion has been highly politicized by both sides, but it is vital to discuss considering that unborn lives are literately on the line because of this questionable court case.
Roe v. Wade makes a wide array of reproductive healthcare available to women. For many women, such as those who can't safely carry a baby to term or become pregnant against their will, the ability to legally and safely have an abortion is necessary. The new rulings that would play out if Roe v. Wade were to be overturned not only make abortions illegal but have no exceptions for rape or incest. To vote in favor of doing away with a ruling that provides healthcare to millions of women and negatively impacts their lives is cruel and goes against the notion that those looking to overturn Roe v. Wade are 'pro-life.'
It's no secret that those looking to overturn the case are driven by religious motives and a lack of acceptance of the hard circumstances women face. Many see the move to overturn Roe as not being made to help anyone other than those who want to push their religious beliefs onto others. America is a free country; this plan shouldn't be acceptable.
Overturning Roe won't stop abortions. Just as making drugs illegal didn't stop drugs from being used, making abortions illegal won't stop women from getting them—it will only make abortions more dangerous and result in more women dying due to infection and injury from failed self-administered abortions. In addition, more unwanted and unplanned babies will be born, and potentially with deformities from unsuccessful abortion attempts made outside a hospital setting. Forcing women to bring children into the world they don't want is cruel to the mother and child and shouldn't be possible.