Taking Sides: Roe v. Wade SHOULD NOT Be Overturned

Anna Childs, Staff Writer/Coulmnist

  The overturning of Roe v. Wade is up in the air with the proposal of a Mississippi law banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, and a recent Texas abortion law allowing anyone to sue people getting or aiding in abortion after six weeks. Regardless of personal ideologies, the overturning of Roe v. Wade, which prevents excessive government oversight of abortions, citing “woman’s constitutional right of privacy, which it found to be implicit in the liberty guarantee of the due process clause of the 14th Amendment (‘…nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law’)” would go entirely against a precedent that has been set and reaffirmed many times in U.S. history (Britannica).

  Roe v. Wade has affected over 30 subsequent Supreme Court cases regarding abortion rights. In one instance, the Supreme Court ruled in Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) that criminalizing the use of birth control in married couples violated their right to privacy (Planned Parenthood). Overturning Roe would contradict the principle of precedent, which promotes judicial restraint and consistency in the judicial system, preventing individual judges from ruling based on personal biases. This has been a big concern with previous president Trump’s appointment of several staunchly conservative Supreme Court justices, who would likely vote to overturn the case according to their standing beliefs, rather than following repeatedly established paradigms.

  The Mississippi law challenging Roe v. Wade would ban abortions after just 15 weeks of pregnancy, or the beginning of the second trimester. At that point, women rarely get abortions for merely convenience, but out of necessity. “Generally, [people who get second trimester and onward abortions] have either received a devastating medical diagnosis or they have complex personal circumstances, including domestic violence, mental illness, and/or drug addiction” (The Conversation). This law would only be targeting a small group of people, most of whom are low-income and POC women. While upper-class, privileged women and couples will be able to work around abortion restrictions, those who most desperately need safe abortion access would be unable to afford it. Those who cannot afford these exclusive abortions are much more likely to turn to unsafe methods, often resulting in injury and even death to the woman. 

  According to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 93 percent of Mississippi abortions in 2018 were performed before 14 weeks of pregnancy, and 75 percent were before 10 weeks (CDC). If such a large portion of abortions are performed before this law’s and Roe V. Wade’s cutoff, the restriction on the remaining abortions is frankly perpetuating inequality and all in all, unnecessary. 

  Ultimately, from a legal standpoint, overturning Roe v. Wade would seriously weaken the legitimacy of our judicial system and put into question the necessity of legal precedent, which is damaging for all aspects of government and its American citizens.