'A woman’s right to choose is fundamental’: Is Biden right about 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 May 2, 2022, POLITICO released an initial 98-page draft written by Justice Samuel Alito noting the majority of the Supreme Court had voted down the Roe v. Wade decision with a statement, “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences” However, the court ruling will not be finalized until the next two months.
- In response to the leaked draft, President Biden asserted in a White House briefing, “I believe that a woman’s right to choose is fundamental, Roe has been the law of the land for almost fifty years, and basic fairness and the stability of our law demand that it not be overturned.”
- MarketWatch reported on various polls regarding Roe v. Wade. A January 2022 CNN poll found that 69% of Americans want to leave the ruling as is, while 30% want it overturned. In accordance, a 2021 Gallup poll revealed that the numbers have stayed relatively similar with support for the decision at 52% and 66%.
- 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.”
Roe vs. Wade was 'egregiously wrong from the start,' and its flaws begin with its constitutionality—not its politics, which has converted the moral issue into a political catastrophe, dividing the country for several decades. There is no right to abortion stated in the Constitution, which means this decision should have always been left up to the states in the first place.
There were major missteps in the original Roe v. Wade case, with former Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg stating the 'court made a mistake by going too far, too fast in its first ruling on the constitutionality of abortion.' Plus, the infamous court case is often criticized for being based on privacy rights, not equal rights. Honest abortion advocates admit that basing the original decision on privacy rights is fundamentally flawed.
The legal issues are just the beginning, as the possibility of overturning Roe vs. Wade stirs up unending ethical arguments against abortion itself. The abortion controversy will never be settled primarily because abortion has been conflated to the 'rights' status its enjoyed for 50 years. But ending another human's life should never be considered a 'right.' The science is clear: abortion is the intentional killing of human life. The embryo or fetus is unequivocally human as only humans create humans. And as biologists affirm, a baby's life begins at fertilization, therefore entitling them to human rights like the fundamental right to life. Further embryological research continues to uncover how preborn babies can feel pain as early as seven or eight weeks. Finally, abortion has been touted as a fundamental women’s rights issue, yet, many tend to overshadow that babies can be male, too, and that this it is an issue for everyone. In the end, murder cannot remain anyone’s ‘choice.’
Despite Roe v. Wade and abortion being a contentious issue in the US, with people on both sides of the debate believing they are right, President Biden is correct in saying a 'woman's right to choose is fundamental.'
First, the 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade ruled in favor of abortion rights and has remained the law of the land for over 50 years. The 7-2 decision made in 1973 gave women a 'guarantee of certain areas or zone of privacy.'
Additionally, empowering women with reproductive choices gives them control over their bodies. Abortion permits women in all walks of life to participate equally in their community's social and economic life, offering women liberty in the truest sense. It is important to understand that not all women get abortions because of an accidental or unwanted pregnancy. Many women suffer traumatic events, injuries, or other illnesses that necessitate an abortion. Rape is a reason commonly cited for supporting the need for abortion in the US. Since a woman will ultimately be the individual providing care for the infant right after birth and making enormous personal sacrifices, she should be the one making this decision.
Finally, making sure abortion stays legal nationwide, allowing medical professionals to perform them without hindrance, not only reduces illegal abortions but minimizes the maternal injury and death caused by unsafe, illegal abortions. Since Roe vs. Wade was enacted, only a handful of maternal deaths have occurred due to legalized abortions compared to the thousands of maternal deaths that still occur in nations where abortion remains illegal.