by Cheveyo Baker
Roe v. Wade came into fruition on January 22nd of 1973, marking the protection of women’s productive rights throughout the United States as a whole. While the system was still not perfect, the step in the right direction was joyous for all people who previously did not have control over their own body.
Yesterday, May 2nd, 2022, a draft opinion was leaked, detailing that the Supreme Court justices would overturn the initial ruling of Roe v. Wade. The ruling, for many individuals, meant shackles were finally being loosened on women’s bodies. While many of us may just look at the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade as “sad but not an issue concerning me”, this is, in fact, wrong. Overturning Roe v. Wade will affect your mothers, your sisters, your significant others, daughters, even those who do not fit into a binary definition of gender will be affected by this grave decision.
For women, the fight for equal rights has been going on long before our current timeline, including the fight for suffrage, equal pay, etc. The lack of equal rights for women, sadly, will most likely not end anytime soon. With a political system dominated by men, there remains to be a lack of understanding due to the bias and privilege all men have, as well as for many men, a willing ignorance that deflects them from seeing the truth. The truth being: Individuals deserve to have control over their own bodies.
Not only will this decision affect women, it will also affect many trans or non-binary individuals who, if forced to carry out a pregnancy, may have to change particular aspects of their life that have so far made them feel extremely comfortable. Going off hormones or the simple idea of having to go through a process that doesn’t conform with their gender identity, will destroy many individuals mentally and physically. To strip away the comfort of an individual could result in detrimental effects, as well as most likely re-introducing many individuals feelings of gender and body dysphoria.
The extenuating circumstances will result in women getting “illegal” and unsafe abortions. Women will most likely die in large numbers due to the lack of care and empathy given by our government, even from those who should understand the turmoil and, sometimes, torture pregnancy can put women through. No person should be forced to endure that. There are individuals whose bodies can not physically bear children, even if they do become pregnant. Why strip these women of the right to choose, and possibly, the right to live if they are forced to endure the physical stress their body cannot take?
We are moving backwards, reverting to an oppressive world that tears down anyone who doesn’t fit into the patriarchal society that we are made to live by. We need to break down these walls, to fight back harder than we have before, because a nation that doesn’t give us the right to control our own bodies, is a nation that disguises its dictatorship under the guise of a democratic society.
Resources to educate yourself:Facts about abortion