Abortion: Why is Roe v. Wade still a debate?

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Georgia Ross

Courts need to respect the precedent of law that gives a woman autonomy over her body and the right to make her own medical choices.

In November of 2021, the Supreme Court began to reexamine the 50-year-old pro-choice landmark case as Dobbs v. Jackson, beginning in Mississippi, was brought to the higher courts. This case aims to limit the abortion time frame to 15 weeks following conception. Under Roe v. Wade today, women have 23-24 weeks to choose an abortion. At the end of this period, the fetus becomes viable, meaning that it could survive outside of the womb. The court is likely to deliver its consensus by spring or summer of 2022. While former president Trump was in office, he selected two Republican justices to the Supreme Court who vocally shared anti-abortion views before being appointed to the bench. On a conservative court, Roe v. Wade is in danger of coming to an end. The higher court would pass their power to decide restrictions, time limits and even the act of abortion itself to each individual state.

While anti-abortion supporters say that this change is necessary to “protect the unborn fetus” and that it is the government’s job to fight for these lives that begin at conception, states cannot have the power to restrict nor decide whether or not a woman can have an abortion.

When it comes to abortion, men in the government have no right to make the calls on how women should do this.”

Though the fetus has the potential to develop into a human, a fetus is not a viable, independent entity for quite a duration of time. Abortion gives a woman the choice to make decisions for herself and the fetus that make sense in her life at that time before a fetus becomes a person. Unfortunately, the fact is that according to Walden Family Services, 65% of kids leave foster care at age 18 with no place to call home. Approximately 4,000 kids per year leave foster care into homelessness, meaning today’s foster care system is ineffective as it is. Putting restrictions on abortion would only intensify this, as more mothers would turn to adoption and foster care facilities.

From some angles, abortion is undeniably sad. However giving birth comes with life-long responsibilities and burdens: women have to do the work, put their careers on pause (leaving men with a significant advantage in the work environment), create a plan for the child if they can’t take them and birth them.

Even for the women who choose abortions, lifelong emotional ties weigh on them. So when it comes to abortion, men in the government have no right to make the calls on how women should do this.

According to the president of the Center for Reproductive Rights Nancy Northup, a change at the high court would likely mean “Over 20 states would prohibit abortion outright. Eleven states — including Mississippi — currently have trigger bans on the books, which would instantaneously ban abortion if Roe is overturned.”

Roe v. Wade must not be overturned. This is the 21st century: women deserve this right.

Read the news story about conversations related to Minnesota abortion legislation in the upcoming March print issue of The Rubicon.