OPINION | Second class citizens again: The Roe v. Wade overturn

As I woke up on Friday, June 24 and checked my phone, my screen was flooded with a single message. 

“Roe v. Wade has been overturned.”  

One of my worst fears since the draft leak of an overturn has come true and I am shocked, angry and most of all scared. Roe v. Wade was a decision made by the Supreme Court in 1973 that protects a person’s privacy and right to choose whether or not to continue their pregnancy. 

Now that this has been overturned, the Supreme Court has said that there is no longer a federal constitutional right to abortion. 

The right to abortion has now been left up to the states, which nearly half of them have already passed or will pass laws that ban abortion. 

One of these states includes Louisiana, which had a trigger law that bans abortion. Our governor also signed a bill five days ago that criminalizes abortion and contains no exceptions for rape or incest. 

While there are exclusions in the bill for cases such as an ectopic pregnancy, a woman who is raped will now have to carry the product of the crime to term and struggle, while dealing with the mental and physical hardship of pregnancy and sexual assault. If she doesn’t want to raise her rapists’ child and puts it up for adoption, she faces yet another traumatic experience.

Not only that, but women who have a miscarriage will now be given less options on how to deal with their tragedy as these patients are sometimes prescribed abortion medication. Given this, their terrible loss can be viewed as a crime by the law. 

According to gynecologist and professor of obstetrics, Dr. Sarah Prager, the challenge with these types of laws being passed is that the treatment for abortions and miscarriages are the exact same.  

As a Christian and someone who was consistently surrounded by Catholicism growing up, I understand the religious opinions regarding abortion and those who feel it is morally right to be against it. That is their right as Americans – to follow whatever belief system they choose.

However, I also know that the founding of our nation was based on the separation of church and state. 

As enshrined in the First Amendment, “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.”

Therefore, the state of Roe v. Wade should not have been affected by pressure from pro-lifers who largely object to abortion on religious grounds, claiming life begins at conception.  After all, different religious groups can’t even agree on when life begins. For example, while Catholicism says that life begins with breath, Judaism believes that life begins at birth. 

The whole point is that the Supreme Court – or any governmental organization for that matter – should not be making decisions based on the religious beliefs of its members. Period.  

As recently as a couple of weeks ago, 61% of Americans reported believing abortion should be legal, compared to 37% who think otherwise.Roe v. Wade was not overturned because people wanted it; the overturn of Roe v. Wade is meant to control women’s bodies, reducing our bodily autonomy and thereby our equality.

Of woman’s right to choose, Ruth Bader Ginsburg said during her Supreme Court confirmation:

“This is something central to a woman’s life, to her dignity…When the government controls that decision for her, she’s being treated as less than a fully adult human.”

When the Roe draft was first leaked in May, Justice Samuel Alito noted the possible overturn of Roe v. Wade would not affect any other laws that fall under the 14th Amendment. The 14th Amendment essentially protects citizens’ privacy; there are many other landmark 14th Amendment cases, including Obergefell v. Hodges (same sex marriage), Lawrence v. Texas (legality of same-sex sexual activity) and Griswold v. Connecticut (the right to obtain contraceptives). 

Now that the ruling has been released, it appears the Supreme Court may indeed meddle further with cases based on the right to privacy. Shocker. 

In his concurring majority opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas named these three cases as ripe for reconsideration by the court.

As someone who has polycystic ovarian syndrome, I would be directly affected were Griswold to be struck down. PCOS, simply put, is a syndrome in which a woman has cysts on her ovaries due to an abnormal amount of male sex hormones. While the word cysts is in the name, PCOS does not always contain cysts, but can lead to extremely irregular period cycles, fertility issues, excess body hair and more. 

Why am I bringing this up? There is no cure for PCOS, only treatment. One of the best treatment plans out there is birth control, which I am on. If Griswold goes the way of Roe and is wiped off the books, my access to birth control could be taken away.  Me, and so many other women like me, will have future bodily issues that will most certainly affect our physical and mental health.

Additionally, people could lose access to safe sex contraceptives, resulting in more unwanted pregnancies, exacerbating the overturn of Roe. Women will be forced to travel to other states or countries where abortion is legal, or seek a potentially unsafe black-market abortion. Some will feel as if they have no choice but to continue with their pregnancy, regardless of whether they are physically, emotionally or financially able to care for the baby once it arrives.

If Lawrence or Obergefell falls, many LGBTQ+ people will lose their rights simply because of who they are and who they love.

I ask those of you reading right now, how does doing all of this make us better than any other country that takes away women’s rights? Abortion is currently more legal in Saudi Arabia than it is in the State of Louisiana. How can this be possible?

Ultimately, the overturn of Roe v. Wade will have wide-ranging consequences. More women will die. Rape and incest victims will be forced to carry their abuser’s child. Babies will be born to women who cannot take care of them and children can suffer. 

While having an abortion is a choice I would never want to make, the whole point is that I should have a choice.


If you or a loved one is facing hard times due to this decision locally, click the link below to the New Orleans Abortion Fund. 



Editor’s Note: This is the second opinion piece as part of a pair to share varying student’s opinion on Roe v. Wade. To read the opposing opinion piece, click here.