Letter to the Editor: Response to “Roe v. Wade’s long overdue (apparent) repeal and its worrying response from abortion advocates”

To Dylan Meche, Opinions Editor:

I feel it would be a gross understatement to call this opinion piece woefully ignorant and – to use the words of a trusted mentor – simple-minded. This opinion, and the written opinion given by Supreme Court Justice Alito, fly in the face of the fact that the United States government’s purpose is to serve the interests of its citizens, and the majority of Americans support women’s right to a safe abortion. This has been the consensus for 50 years.

Despite what “pro-birth” advocates (because I’ve seen nothing to suggest that the anti-abortion stance is pro-life) seem to enjoy saying, the majority of abortions are not the results of a whim, and often are matters of difficult, emotionally traumatizing tragedy. Many factors can cause a pregnancy to become non-viable and this is many parents’ worst nightmare. Still, I would support leaving the choice to individuals even in the case of a potentially viable pregnancy. It has historically been difficult for women to independently obtain effective forms of contraception. This is being compounded by many states, Louisiana included, presenting legislation to restrict or ban many forms of contraception. This position is founded exclusively in a religious argument, which is grounds to invalidate it as potential legislation per the separation of church and state in our government. The United States of America is not a theocracy, at least not yet, and the religious views of any given person does not constitute grounds for legislative action.

I would also like to address that Justice Alito’s apparent indifference to where in the Constitution the right to an abortion, asserted in Roe v. Wade, could be located is a drastic dismission – intended or not – off the 9th Amendment of the Constitution, which states ” The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” Many commonly recognized rights of the American people decided by results of precedent in court are based in this fundamental element of our Constitution. If Supreme Court Justices cannot be expected to uphold even this value of our Constitution, how are we, the people, to respond? Alito argued that the 14th Amendment did not expressly state the basis of the Roe v Wade consensus, yet the 14th Amendment, Section 1 clearly reads:

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.

If this only gives Justice Alito the “feeling” that the right to an abortion is supported by the Constitution, I cannot help but think him willfully ignorant both of the explicit statement and well-founded spirit of the Constitution.

However, this Opinion piece is not coming from Justice Alito. This piece is a regurgitation of the sentiments held by many religious individuals who call themselves “pro-life.” I take great issue with the label, since it is usually attached to conservatives who have often demonstrated a disregard for life past birth, thus my using the previous “pro-birth” label. Again, one’s personal, religious views do not constitute grounds to control what women can or cannot do with their bodies in the interest of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in America. Making abortions illegal in any state will not prevent abortions. It will only result in more unsafe abortions.

I fear my letter has gone on quite long, since the prompt did say to keep it short. In this case, I welcome any opportunity to further elaborate and debate. I will continue to advocate for the individual right of women to obtain a safe, legal abortion in any case.

Gavin Vining


Graduate Assistant