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The Overturning of Roe v. Wade
“Keep abortions legal!” “Bans off our bodies!” “Abortion is essential healthcare!” “Abortion is a human right!” “Free abortion on demand!” shouted protestors in front of the Supreme Court, their messages echoing throughout the nation, as the Supreme Court decision was announced. On June 24th, 2022 the U.S. Supreme Court reversed their own ruling first established in 1973, effectively overturning Roe v. Wade, a decision made in 1973 which has allowed abortions to be liberally conducted without regulation.
Previously, America allowed abortions in any circumstance, even as a form of contraceptive. This was attained through a Supreme Court ruling which cited abortion as a Constitutional right to privacy. Now, the ruling has been overturned, returning that decision to conduct abortions to the people. The overturning of Roe v. Wade means that abortion regulation will be passed down from its “one-size-fits all” federal jurisdiction, and left up to the residents of each State to decide for themselves.
Will the overturning of Roe v. Wade eliminate the possibility for abortions in America? Or, does this decision provide a more democratic platform for residents to decide these issues on a State-by-State basis? While the origin of the 1973 legislation itself was illegitimately founded through lies and political deception, its existence has held a large and influential effect on other areas of U.S. law. The bottom line, Roe v. Wade was decided upon entirely by men, and would effectively set the national standard for casual sex, while reducing the chances of unexpected pregnancies. This means the right to a female abortion was given by men whose primary benefit was likely to engage in sex without the possibility of longterm consequences.
The Overturning of Roe v. Wade
The Supreme Court’s 5 - 4 ruling overturned their previous decision made in 1973 which federally enabled all women to have unregulated access to abortion. Although this legislation was originally interpreted from the Constitution’s Amendments, its “literal” wording is nowhere to be found within the documents. Abortion is an interpretation of the right to privacy, first established as a federal civil right almost half a century ago.
Justice Samuel Alito - [Bush]
Justice Clarence Thomas - [Bush]
Justice Neil Gorsuch - [Trump]
Justice Brett Kavanaugh - [Trump]
Justice Amy Cony Barrett - [Trump]
Justice John G. Roberts Jr. - [Bush]
Justice Stephen Breyer - [Clinton]
Justice Sonia Sotomayor - [Obama]
Justice Elena Kagan - [Obama]
Who is Jane Roe?
In 1973, Norma McCorvey, a single Texan resident, discovered that she was pregnant with her third child. In an effort to rid herself of further responsibility, Norma McCorvey devised an insidious plot. She would falsely claim that she had been a victim of rape, and that her pregnancy was the result of a disgusting act of violence.
In a desperate attempt to eradicate her unwanted child, Norma McCorvey reached out to Linda Coffee and Sarah Weddington, both attorneys ro represent her in her fight. Coffee and Weddington would ultimately decide upon using the name “Jane Roe,” as a legal alias for Norma McCorvey. The Henry Wade, was Dallas County’s District Attorney. In the end, the child was born before the decision could be made which would have allowed the destruction of her unborn baby.
This means that Roe v. Wade was a ruling which was based on a lie. This also brings into question Norma McCorvey’s attorney-client privilege. Did her attorneys know about her lie prior to taking on the case? Was this information revealed privately during trial, inspiring the client to take on the alias “Jane Roe?” Was Roe v. Wade just a political opportunity to yield more profit, through deregulating the abortion market?
Upon the overturning of Roe v. Wade, Norma McCorvey’s daughter, Melissa Mills, (the child that ‘Jane Roe’ attempted to abort) stated that she was in “disbelief.” Melissa Mills shared her thoughts saying,
“My mother would just be devastated, just hard to believe now her grandkids are going to have the same rights as as we’ve had for 50 years,”
Ironically, had these laws been passed sooner than 1973, Jane Roe’s “grandkids” may have never even been born. Today, Norma McCorvey’s un-aborted offspring continues the fight for the federal right to abortion on demand.
Roe v. Wade: Constitutional Interpretations
In the 1973 trial of Roe v. Wade, banning the right to abortion was argued to deprive citizens of the right to liberty without “due process of law.” This means that denying citizens the right to an abortion was not only to deny personal freedom, but an omission of civil rights, protected under our U.S. Constitution.
The original 7-2 Supreme Court ruling occurred on January 22nd, 1973. This decision was made in reference to the Constitution’s amendments. In this 1973 Supreme Court case, the right to abortion was argued as a right to privacy, stemming from the First, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments.
The First Amendment  states
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
The Fifth Amendment  states
“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
The Sixth Amendment  states
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
The Ninth Amendment  states
“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
The Fourteenth Amendment  states
“No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
It was with these Constitutional amendments that Roe v. Wade was argued as “a right to privacy” and ultimately became federally decided upon. The Supreme Court’s majority ruling found that abortion was a fundamental right to human privacy, and protected under the U.S. Constitution. From this day forward on January 22, 1973, first-trimester abortion would be protected, without state intervention, along with second-trimester abortions which would be protected, unless a mother’s health was at risk.
Viability refers to the moral line to which the concept of conscious human life has been achieved, but where does this line begin? In the modern age, there is wild controversy to a definitive point where the act of abortion becomes murder. Legally, viability is determined by the availability of medical facilities which provide advanced care for “very premature babies.” This means that viability is ‘financially dependent.’ Fetuses in major cities such as New York City or Los Angeles will have more privilege to life than impoverished minorities, without access to revolutionary medical technology.
Institutions like Planned Parenthood abortion clinics thrive in low-income neighborhoods where fetal “viability” remains exempt, due to the lack of medical resources. It is within these legal jurisdictions that abortionists have been able to position their services to cater to minorities, empowering individuals to normalize abortion, creating a demand, further yielding funding and donations to these facilities.
“Viability also depends on the “quality of the available medical facilities.” Colautti v. Franklin, 439 U. S. 379, 396 (1979). Thus, a 24-week-old fetus may be viable if a woman gives birth in a city with hospitals that provide advanced care for very premature babies, but if the woman travels to a remote area far from any such hospital, the fetus may no longer be viable. On what ground could the constitutional status of a fetus depend on the pregnant woman’s location? And if viability is meant to mark a line having universal moral significance, can it be that a fetus that is viable in a big city in the United States has a privileged moral status not enjoyed by an identical fetus in a remote area of a poor country?”
“[V]iability is not really a hard-and-fast line. Ibid. A physician determining a particular fetus’s odds of surviving outside the womb must consider “a number of variables,” including “gesta- tional age,” “fetal weight,” a woman’s “general health and nutrition,” the “quality of the available medical facilities,” and other factors. Id., at 395–396. It is thus “only with difficulty” that a physician can estimate the “probability” of a particular fetus’s survival. Id., at 396. And even if each fetus’s probability of survival could be ascertained with cer- tainty, settling on a “probabilit[y] of survival” that should count as “viability” is another matter.” - Court Opinion
“Under this scheme, each trimester of pregnancy was regulated differently, but the most critical line was drawn at roughly the end of the second trimester, which, at the time, corresponded to the point at which a fetus was thought to achieve “viability,” i.e., the ability to survive outside the womb.” - Justice Alito
“[A] woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy extends up to the point that the fetus is regarded as “viable” outside the womb. I agree that this rule should be discarded.” - Justice Roberts
“Prior to viability, the woman, consistent with the constitutional ‘meaning of liberty,’ must ‘retain the ultimate control over her destiny and her body.’” - Justices Breyer, Sotomayor, Kagan
Justice Stephen Breyer
Set to retire at noon, on Thursday June 30th, 2022, Justice Stephen Breyer is a Clinton-appointed Supreme Court Justice who voted against the reversal of Roe v. Wade. Opting for the retainment of the controversial 1973 decision, his decision was not among the majority, however it solidified his position on the historic moral debate behind unregulated abortion. Justice Stephen Breyer will be replaced by Ketanji Brown Jackson who will be sworn in as the 104th Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. The ceremony will be live-streamed on the official SCOTUS website, www.supremecourt.gov.
Justice Brett Kavanaugh
Although Justice Brett Kavanaugh concurred to strike down the Roe v. Wade legislation, he assured that States could not stop people from fleeing their abortion regulated State to receive the procedure, citing the “constitutional right to interstate travel.” The downfall of Roe v. Wade will not impede the American right to make a choice to participate in abortions, the difference is it won’t be readily available in every state. Liberal cities like New York City and Los Angeles will always provide abortions, including that of interstate.
“On the question of abortion, the Constitution is therefore neither pro-life nor pro-choice. The Constitution is neutral and leaves the issue for the people and their elected representatives to resolve through the democratic process in the States or Congress—like the numerous other difficult questions of American social and economic policy that the Constitution does not address.”
“Because the Constitution is neutral on the issue of abortion, this Court also must be scrupulously neutral. The nine unelected Members of this Court do not possess the constitutional authority to override the democratic process and to decree either a pro-life or a pro-choice abortion policy for all 330 million people in the United States.”
Justice Clarence Thomas
Defining the 1973 decision Roe v. Wade as “substantiative due process,” Justice Clarence Thomas welcomed the opportunity for change, concurring beyond that of the overturning of Roe v. Wade. In addition to striking down the 1973 ruling, Justice Thomas called upon the overturning of other decisions which included the right to contraception, the right to same-sex intimacy, and the right to same-sex marriage. (Griswold v. Connecticut, Lawrence v. Texas, Obergefell v. Hodges.) Justice Clarence Thomas referred to modern “substantive due process” as “an oxymoron that lack[s] any basis in the Constitution.”
Justice Samuel Alito
Justice Alito concurred with the decision to return the rights of abortion back to the people and the state. Alito cited almost two centuries of state influenced legislation regulated by the people, each state taking into account the views of its citizens. Abortion is further described by Alito as “a profound moral issue,” whose authority is returned back to the people, and their elected representatives.
“Abortion presents a profound moral issue on which Americans hold sharply conflicting views.”
“For the first 185 years after the adoption of the Constitution, each State was permitted to address this issue in accordance with the views of its citizens. Then, in 1973, this Court decided Roe v. Wade,”
As Lincoln once said: “We all declare for Liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing.”
“Abortion presents a profound moral question. The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and Casey arrogated that authority. The Court overrules those decisions and returns that authority to the people and their elected representatives.”
Justice John G. Roberts
“I agree with the Court that the viability line established by Roe and Casey should be discarded under a straightforward stare decisis analysis. That line never made any sense. Our abortion precedents describe the right at issue as a woman’s right to choose to terminate her pregnancy. That right should therefore extend far enough to ensure a reasonable opportunity to choose, but need not extend any further—certainly not all the way to viability.”
“Let me begin with my agreement with the Court, on the only question we need decide here: whether to retain the rule from Roe and Casey that a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy extends up to the point that the fetus is regarded as “viable” outside the womb. I agree that this rule should be discarded.”
“In short, the viability rule was created outside the ordinary course of litigation, is and always has been completely unreasoned, and fails to take account of state interests since recognized as legitimate. It is indeed “telling that other countries almost uniformly eschew” a viability line. Ante, at 53 (opinion of the Court). Only a handful of countries, among them China and North Korea, permit elective abortions after twenty weeks; the rest have coalesced around a 12–week line. See The World’s Abortion Laws, Center for Reproductive Rights (Feb. 23, 2021) (online source archived at www.supremecourt.gov) (Canada, China, Iceland, Guinea-Bissau, the Netherlands, North Korea, Singapore, and Vietnam permit elective abortions after twenty weeks). The Court rightly rejects the arbitrary via- bility rule today.”
Justice Amy Coney Barrett
In 2020, Amy Coney Barrett was appointed to the Supreme Court by former U.S. President Donald Trump. Amy Barrett was claimed to support the St. Joseph County Right to Life (SJCRL). In 2006, while working as a law professor at Notre Dame, Barrett was signature was found among hundreds of other individuals on a full page newspaper ad, sponsored by the pro-life group, SJCRL. Upon Justice Parretts appointment onto the Supreme Court, states began implementing legislation which would come into effect upon the downfall of Roe v. Wade. These bills would remain inactive, acting as “trigger laws,” until a ruling was passed transferring the power from a federal level to exclusively rely on decisions voted on by the people and passed through the state.
Currently 13 states hold trigger laws or legislation which would default its abortion regulation to laws created in the event that Roe v. Wade would be overturned. After the Supreme Court ruling, these laws were overruled by federal regulation. This means any dissent to the ruling was disregarded, and existing sanctions against abortion were rendered void. Now with the overturning of Roe v. Wade, existing legislation regains its power, limiting abortion state-wide.
Pre-Roe Bans. In addition to “trigger laws,” nine states hold Pre-Roe bans one abortion. Four of these states have six-week bans state-wide in place, while five other states hold pre-Roe bans which completely deprive residents of the right to have an abortion upon the reversal of Roe v. Wade. This does not mean abortion will be federally illegal. Interstate travel will still be allowed under the U.S. Constitution, a right that cannot be revoked. This ruling instead allows conservative states to vote on regulating abortion, and liberal states to continue administering the procedures. This, by definition, is democracy.
An infographic from Statista in January 2022 forecasted which states were likely to ban abortion following the potential overturning of Roe v. Wade. While coastal cities retain legislation which protects the right to abortion by law, the majority of States’ residents are expected to feel the effects of this ruling. Critics argue against the variation of civil rights, fully dependent on a State’s demographic, and division of a nation. Proponents view this decision as the further diversification of a free country, and handing the power back to the people.
May ‘22 Leaked SCOTUS Consensus
In May 2022, Politico published a leaked draft majority opinion by Justice Samuel Alito, which largely matched the final decision issued on June 24, 2022. It is unknown the source of the leak, which brought a wave of controversy to what many realized was in the works. This leak caused a public outcry from pro-choice advocates across the country, providing the country with insight to what would become an official decision just one month later.
Dobbs v. Jackson
In 2018 Mississippi passed the “Gestational Age Act” which prohibits against abortions after 15 weeks, when the state determined was the “moral line of viability.” In response, Jackson Women’s Health Organization — Mississippi’s only abortion clinic — sued Thomas E. Dobbs, Mississippi’s State Health Officer of its Department of Heath.
The final judgement was passed with the overturning of Roe v. Wade. The decision stated “The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion. The authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representativesDobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (JWHO) 6 - 3 ruling was used to build the case in the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Justice Roberts voted to uphold the Mississippi ban on abortions after 15-weeks, stating that the concept of viability should be abolished.
Planned Parenthood v. Casey
On June 29, 1992 the Supreme Court reaffirmed the Roe v. Wade 1973 ruling, in a 5-4 decision between Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Robert P. Casey. It would be through this ruling that America would establish the concept of “undue burden.” This would combat against abortion laws, citing that any restriction on abortions were invalid if its “purpose or effect is to place substantial obstacles in the path of a woman seeking an abortion before the fetus attains viability.”
Planned Parenthood v. Casey’s ruling was overturned by the revocation of Roe v. Wade.
“In Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey, 505 U. S. 833 (1992), the Court likewise identified an abortion guarantee in ‘the liberty protected by the Fourteenth Amendment,’ but, rather than a ‘right of privacy,’ it invoked an ethereal ‘right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.’” - Justice Thomas
“Now today, the Court rightly overrules Roe and Casey—two of this Court’s ‘most notoriously incorrect’ sub- stantive due process decisions, Timbs, 586 U. S., at (opinion of THOMAS, J.) (slip op., at 2)—after more than 63 million abortions have been performed, see National Right to Life Committee, Abortion Statistics (Jan. 2022), https:// www.nrlc.org/uploads/factsheets/FS01AbortionintheUS.pdf. The harm caused by this Court’s forays into substantive due process remains immeasurable.” - Justice Thomas
Planned Parenthood’s first abortion clinic appeared in Syracuse, New York following New York State’s legalization of abortion in 1970. Two-thirds of all abortions which occurred during the first two years occurred from out-of-state residents, where abortion remained illegal. It would be three years before “the right to abortion” would be federally regulated, and in 1973 Roe v. Wade was passed making abortions accessible in all states throughout America. 49 years later, the federal decision to regulate abortion would be overturned, passing the power down to the state and its voters.
Following the aftermath to the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, Planned Parenthood still assures women that they can still get abortions. The organization suggests using AbortionFinder.org for verified abortionists and a state-by-state abortion guide. Planned Parenthood estimates thirty-six million women will lose access to abortion in their state. Reiterating Kavanaugh’s statement, interstate travel is a Constitutionally protected right, and therefore traveling to receive an abortion outside of states which hold abortion bans will remain federally protected.
Planned Parenthood is an institution which believes and publicly proclaims that abortion laws were first created in the early 1900’s due to “several decades of increased immigration,” by“white men in power [who] supported abortion bans as a way to get upper-class white women to have more children
This discriminative statement is egregiously false, and encourages racism, hate, and animosity to a political system designed to protect our population from federally regulated jurisdictions outside of the Constitution. This means the more decisions we let the government make on our behalf, the less say we the people have in how society should actually be run. As a result, many people are forced to adhere to ideologies provide by the state, no matter their own person conviction to a specific personal issue or belief. While the horrific story produced by Planned Parenthood appears to fit the political narrative, it also provides a gateway to federal regulation of public interest outside of the Constitution.
Federal sanctions in any form which are not based in our Constitution are tyrannical and inhumane. Opinion-based forced federal compliance on either side will be perceived as authoritarianism by its resistance and opposition. As abortion is not explicitly written into our Constitution it must be interpreted through its Amendments.
Is the overturning of Roe vs Wade a civil infringement on the personal right to privacy, or the revocation of a federal ordinance for our nation to engage in mass genocide? While the principal of human abortion has become widely politicized, it is now argument of ethics which is dependent on the voice of the people alongside their elected representatives and state legislators. The individual taxpayer has been conditioned to believe their freedoms are dependent on that of the federal government, and without blanket legislation true democracy cannot exist.
In reality, the people now have the power, to shape each state’s policy as they see fit, taking into account each resident’s voice through an electoral process. Beyond dictatorial law lies the social engagement of the public, allowing a diverse collaboration of individual ideologies and beliefs to make an impact local communities. Despite a conflict of public interest, democracy is a shared aspect of American society, one which requires equal power in every vote, no matter the level of opposition against a particular issue.
Many Americans fear that legislative action against same-sex marriage will be next, however marriage is recognized as a fundamental right and therefore is protected under our U.S. Constitution. Yet, the federal government has conditioned its citizens to fear “leaving social issues to chance” — also known as “voting,” to suppress and divide our power and impact. U.S. citizens are instead encouraged to transfer the totality of their power to the federal government, relinquishing control of the nation to those with malice intent. As a result, our modern society has been duped to believe an institutional narrative that our rights are protected by the government, when in actuality documents like the Constitution and its Amendments exist to protect us from the government. We, the people, control the federal government, not the inverse.
Regardless of your stance on abortion, the entirety of America is now “pro-choice.” Voters can choose their elected representatives who can choose which laws to enact. If the citizen is dissatisfied with their state-wide abortion sanctions they can choose to travel interstate to receive the procedure. If the individual chooses to live in a state where abortion is more regulated, they can choose to make that adjustment. While many pro-lifers rejoice, America will never default its values to a one-party ideology outside of the visceral interpretations of our U.S. Constitution. In a way the American public has taken on a larger role of responsibility, one which requires individual moral decisions to be made throughout communities. Good or bad, right or wrong, the raw power to facilitate actual change, evoke personal individuality, and encourage public moral debate has been ultimately transferred back into the hands of the people.