US Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade-A UK Woman’s Views

The US Supreme Court ruled to overturn the historical Roe v Wade legislation yesterday, meaning that US states now decide individually whether to make abortion illegal or not.

While pro-life protesters cheered outside the court, pro-choice defenders were shocked, disappointed, and angry at the result. It is a controversial topic all over the world, with some believing abortion to be sinful due to religious beliefs and others believing it is a person’s right to choose what to do with their own body.

This ruling essentially means that women and people with uteruses living in anti-abortion states will most likely be penalized for having an abortion, even if it was done to save their life (e.g. because of an ectopic pregnancy or retained miscarriage), and so will the healthcare workers who provided the service.

It feels wrong that abortion is now considered a crime in some states considering it is 2022 and things seemed much more progressive. Abortion is not a procedure anyone takes lightly. Birth control isn’t always effective, people can be coerced into sex without protection, and other people could die if they carried a pregnancy to term.

Then there is the horrifying thought that even a spontaneous miscarriage could be questioned as a potential abortion. People could be made to feel like criminals for something that wasn’t their fault, and that simply isn’t right.

There is also the consideration of fetuses who are severely ill or deformed. The ruling decrees that in the states where abortion is illegal, all pregnancies must be carried to term. It seems cruel that parents now face trauma by having to carry an unwell baby to term for them only to be stillborn or live a scant few minutes, hours, or days.

Adoption isn’t always a good solution for the mother, father, or child either. There are so many stories of unsuccessful adoptions that turned out to be abusive or neglectful to the child after they weren’t exactly what the adopting family wanted.

Even those couples wanting to go through IVF treatment now may not be able to. As anti-abortionists believe life begins at conception, IVF clinics would now only be able to fertilize one embryo at a time, making the chance of a successful pregnancy lower than ever. Will these clinics and parents also be arrested if that one embryo ends in a miscarriage?

It is an unnecessary trauma to put people through, and though I was a journalist initially trying to remain impartial, I find I simply cannot. People do have the right to their beliefs, religious or otherwise, but it is unfair and unethical to force them onto others.

Women, trans men, and non-binary people are not criminals for wanting the best for both themselves and their potential children. Surely the Supreme Court should focus on gun laws over reproductive laws if they care so much about life?

The number of mass shootings each year speaks for itself. Even the recent events in Uvalde appear to have meant nothing to these so-called ‘pro-lifers’ in power.

There are so many valid reasons a woman or someone with a uterus chooses to get an abortion. Illness, financial status, lifestyle circumstances, domestic abuse, age, an unviable pregnancy, timing. Now, desperate people will have to travel hundreds of miles to their nearest pro-choice state or pay for a backstreet abortion.

It feels as though the USA has stepped back 70 years to the 1950s. What’s next? Outlawing same-sex marriages and relationships? Bringing back racial segregation?

As a woman living in the safety of the UK, I hope that every person of child-bearing age in America regains their right to choose. I hope that their children and grandchildren never have their reproductive health controlled by a callous, cis male-dominated government.

I hope that religious leaders protect their followers and denounce this ruling, and I hope that you all can find a way to protest safely and effectively to bring justice back to ‘the land of the free.

My opinion means nothing to those in power in America, especially as I am ‘only’ a woman. But you have my support, along with that of countless people all over the UK and the world. There is strength in numbers and power in your words. Use your voice. Stand up for what is right.

One day, safe abortion will be accessible to all who need it once again. One day, we will look back on this time and rejoice that we have autonomy over our own bodies once more.

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