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

Dear Editor, To Dylan Meche, Opinions Editor:

You’re right that the 14th Amendment makes no direct reference to abortion—thinking that it should is nothing more than a weak, juvenile attempt to blur the lines of basic logic with smoke and mirrors. The United States Constitution was created in 1787 by five white men. Unsurprisingly, the document also doesn’t mention cars, cellphones, or the internet, but none of those industries are magically immune from the interpretations of the judicial branch. The Constitution doesn’t mention women, either. Though we definitely existed at the time, we were ignored. The founding fathers purposefully excluded women from the protections and guarantees they provided men.

The original wording of the 14th Amendment doesn’t even recognize women as full citizens; it talks about affixing the number of state representatives according to the number of male citizens who are twenty-one years of age (“14th Amendment”). Also, the 14th Amendment doesn’t explicitly mention any right to privacy (“Jane ROE”). More recent amendments and acts have tried to rectify the founder father’s failings and shortsightedness. For instance, the 19th Amendment guarantees white women the right to vote.

Many of the rights women have today exist because of the interpretations of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court relies on prior court cases to serve as precedence and uses the modern interpretation of constitutional law to craft decisions which best serve the interests of our nation’s citizens—which actually includes women now. In Griswold v. Connecticut, the Court held that “the Constitution guarantees a ‘right to privacy’,” which includes making decisions about “intimate, personal matters such as childbearing” (“Timeline”). United States v. Vuitch essentially permitted doctors to provide abortions to preserve a woman’s life or her health, whether that be her physical or psychological well-being (“Timeline”).

To decide Roe, the Court did not resort to the anti-women sentiments of five men from 1787. They used the broad claim to privacy provided by the 14th Amendment, supported by the 1st Amendment, 4th Amendment, and 5th Amendment, along with the Bill of Rights and a line of court cases going back to 1891, to recognize that a right of personal privacy does exist under the Constitution (“Jane ROE”). They also concurred with the District Court’s determination that the 9th Amendment’s reservation of the right to the people “is broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy” (“Jane ROE”).

Your argument does not dispute actual law and instead relies on emotion and sensationalism instead of facts and logic. You try to discredit all pro-choice supporters by criticizing the actions of a few. You fail to mention the majority of Americans—a whopping 85% in May 2022—think abortion should be legal under all or certain circumstances (“Abortion”). You also fail to mention that you, as a male, will face no direct consequences if abortion access is revoked. However, women will face real, direct, and life-altering consequences if a male impregnates them.

“Pro-life” arguments aren’t about protecting life. They simply seek to control women’s bodies. If you want to stop abortions, then the most simple, efficient, and cost-effective procedure is vasectomies. Mandate that all males must have a vasectomy which may only be reversed if a woman, who has consented to intimacy with them, signs a court order agreeing to have the vasectomy reversed so that a pregnancy can occur. A woman can only become pregnant once every nine months, but a man can impregnate a woman every time he has sex. Clearly, we should be creating laws to regulate men’s sexual activities. Vasectomies are an excellent way to prevent abortions.

“Abortion.” Gallup. news.gallup.com/poll/1576/abortion.aspx Accessed 8 Jun 2022.
“Timeline of Major Supreme Court Decisions on Women’s Rights.” ACLU. www.aclu.org/sites/default/files/field_document/101917a-wrptimeline_0.pdf Accessed 8 Jun 2022
“14th Amendment.” Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute. https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/amendmentxiv Accessed 8 Jun 2022.
“Jane ROE, et al., Appellants, v. Henry WADE.” Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute. https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/amendmentxiv Accessed 8 Jun 2022.

Erica Welter
English Dept