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

Hi Dylan,

I’m going to get a bit personal here since I could actually be affected by the reversal of Roe v. Wade, unlike yourself. But first, let me address a few of your points:

The 14th Amendment says, “all persons born or naturalized in the United States…” not persons conceived. Restricting a woman’s right to healthcare (and yes, abortion is healthcare, but more on that momentarily) is a direct deprivation of a person’s liberty. How can this country be “the land of the free” is freedom is explicitly denied to women?

You mentioned protests and violence occurring in light of the draft leak. While I agree violence should be denounced, people certainly have a right to protest. Have you considered how harrowing it can be to even visit a clinic for an annual pap smear? Many healthcare clinics like Planned Parenthood provide volunteers to safely escort their patients through their doors, and a policeman is often stationed inside. The history of aggressive protests and deadly attacks have been occurring since Roe v. Wade was passed. According to Vox in 2015, “since 1977 there have been eight murders, 17 attempted murders, 42 bombings, and 186 arsons targeted at abortion clinics and providers across the United States.” In 1984 the American Family Planning of Pensacola (my hometown) suffered two bomb attacks within six months.

In their 2019-2020 annual report, Planned Parenthood reported a mere 3% of their 10.4+ million services were abortions. Restricting abortion care is restricting healthcare and can also have devastating effects on miscarriage care. (According to the CDC, a miscarriage is defined as a pregnancy loss before 20 weeks; afterward, it is considered a stillbirth.) During a miscarriage, heavy blood loss, a crash in blood pressure, and other life-threatening complications can occur. If the body can’t pass the tissue on its own, this can lead to sepsis and even death. A common procedure to safely remove the unviable tissue (and even save a woman’s life) is a dilation and curettage, or D & C. Because this is also the procedure used for abortions, overturning Roe v. Wade could have devastating consequences for women.

And now, for the personal. You have never sat in a doctor’s office for a long-awaited ultrasound, only to be told the baby you were so hopefully carrying has no heartbeat – but my best friend has. You will never sit sobbing in an ER room while a nurse gives you Plan B to ensure that the man who assaulted you did not also impregnate you – but I have. Thirteen years later, I have a beautiful baby boy (that my partner and I planned), and I was fortunate to receive exemplary healthcare throughout my entire pregnancy and labor.

So many women already face extreme hardships to obtain basic quality healthcare, and the reversal of Roe v. Wade would incapacitate that access even further. Valuing human life means valuing women’s lives, and we should retain our Constitutional right to life and liberty.



Jenny Davis

Graduate Assistant

English Department