The Supreme Court ruling, announced this morning, has officially overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade case that has protected a woman’s right to an abortion for 50 years— now millions of women nationwide have lost their constitutional right to autonomy over their bodies, and will be forced to bring pregnancies to term, no matter the situation. While the implementation of Roe v. Wade will not affect every state, nearly half of the U.S. is likely to ban safe and legal abortions completely.
“Trigger bans,” meaning that the overturning of Roe v. Wade will be effective either immediately or within 30 days and require no further state deliberation, are already in place in 13 states, including Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, North and South Dakota, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Kentucky. While each state has different specifics on the gestational limit in which abortion is banned past that limit, Arizona, Georgia, Ohio, South Carolina, and Iowa are all said to have a six-week ban. Most states that have been historically red or swing states in political elections, such as Florida, Montana, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, and Kansas have been deemed as more likely than not to implement the Roe v. Wade overturning and restrict women’s health care access.
Nine states have luckily vocalized their focus on expanding access to abortions and healthcare for women, including Washington, Oregon, California, Illinois, New York, Vermont, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Hawaii. However, the dangerous reality is that the millions of women living in the 26 states guaranteed to, or likely to, ban abortion will still be in the same socioeconomic standings as they were when abortion was nationally legal, further creating a class divide between those who are able to travel to other states to receive abortions if needed and those who must go through with their pregnancy against their will, or attempt to unsafely terminate it.
Women across the nation have been voicing their outrage and urging all who can donate to Planned Parenthood and participate in protests against this overturning. In addition, calling your elected Congress officials to urge the consideration of the Judiciary Act of 2021, which would increase the number of seats on the Supreme Court, is crucial in order to hopefully prevent further unfair decisions made by only nine people that affect the entire country. With this 50-year law overturned, one can only hope that the Supreme Court doesn’t continue to repeal laws such as the legality of gay marriage based on this abhorrent precedent that only the lives of straight men matter.