The Vocal Community Reacts to Roe's Reversal
In light of the SCOTUS decision reversing Roe v. Wade, the Vocal Team has put together a resource to help the community navigate the many conversations taking place around this divisive issue. We will continue to update this story with the latest information and content from political figures, thought leaders, and voices on Vocal.
The constitutional right to an abortion—granted to all U.S. citizens in 1973 in the case of Roe v. Wade—was overturned by the Supreme Court on Friday, drastically altering the future of health care and bodily autonomy in the United States. The Vocal Team recognizes and acknowledges that this is a deeply complex ongoing conversation, and many groups are divided over this issue. While some are celebrating, others are grappling with feelings of hopelessness, confusion, and grief due to the Court's decision. To aid our community, we have created a list of links and resources to inform and facilitate ongoing discussions around the subject of abortion rights in the U.S.
The Supreme Court's Decision
"Roe was on a collision course with the Constitution from the day it was decided"
-Samuel Alito, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
In 2018, the state of Mississippi passed a law prohibiting most abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy. The only licensed abortion facility in Mississippi, Jackson's Women's Health Organization, along with one of the doctors who worked there, filed a federal lawsuit to challenge the law's constitutionality. The district court in Mississippi ruled in favor of the abortion facility. The United States Court of Appeals affirmed this decision. Eventually, the case made its way to the Supreme Court, where it was argued before the Justices in December 2021.
On Friday, June 24th, the Supreme Court reversed the lower courts' rulings regarding Mississippi's abortion law and overturned the precedent outlined in Roe v. Wade and affirmed in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Five Justices—Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett—voted to overturn Roe and Casey. Chief Justice John Roberts agreed with the majority that the Mississippi abortion law was constitutional but voted that the Court should not overturn Roe. The remaining three Justices—Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan—voted against the decision. The Court's majority opinion, which Justice Alito wrote, can be read in its entirety here. A summary of the case, the majority opinion, Chief Justice Roberts's opinion, and the liberal justices' dissent can be found here.
The Country Reacts
Abortion rights have taken center stage in American political discourse for decades, becoming an increasingly polarizing topic.
Numb. Shattered. Happy. Ashamed. Heartbroken. Elated. Livid. Indifferent. Pleased. Powerless. Gutted. Grateful. These are just some of the words our readers used to describe their feelings about the Supreme Court’s ruling on abortion.
Protests and celebrations have erupted simultaneously nationwide, drastically interrupting what would have been an otherwise Pride-dominated weekend across the country as June comes to a close.
Meanwhile, politicians and public figures from both sides of the discussion took to the internet to voice their opinions.
As always, in times of civil unrest, we turn our gaze toward our own community for insight and understanding. Vocal creators range across political and idealogical spectrums, offering a balanced vantage point to attempt to interpret the state of a divided society.
Here are some of the conversations taking place right now within the Vocal communities.
On the Aftermath:
What Happens Now?
The Supreme Court's decision to eliminate the constitutional right to an abortion has and will continue to create seismic shifts in reproductive rights across the country. It is estimated that over half of states will ban or severely restrict abortion in the days and weeks ahead. Therefore, individuals must have a firm understanding of the laws in their state. The Center for Reproductive Rights has created an interactive map that indicates the abortion restrictions, bans, and protections in the US states, the District of Columbia, and the five most populous US territories.
The map updates in real time and includes a glossary of terms to help you understand how your local government is responding to the reversal of Roe.
It's important to note that abortion is NOT illegal nationwide and that resources exist to help women get the care they need. It is still legal for women to travel to states where abortion is permitted to seek medical care. Wired has created a guide, which has more information about creating an abortion access plan for those living in states that ban or severely restrict abortion.
In addition, a comprehensive directory of trusted and verified abortion service providers in the United States can be found here.
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Nice story a little one sided but to each their own I guess, I think they need to simply re-think the entire law and do away with the old one, and those that want abortion should have a time frame as in anything up to say 4 weeks is allowed and anything that threatens the life of the mother should be allowed as well, however those that seem to think it is OK to abort anything over that 4 weeks should simply keep their pants up until they are ready to have kids, I get it, society has molded folks into hey how are ya? was it as good for you as it was for me & what was your name again? yea pretty much society has become one big lets all jump in a pile and go at it and answer not for our actions, but the fact is People today have become less considerate of not only the elderly but to the unborn as well, & if you dont agree, the masses stick together to try and make your life a living hell if you dont for those that are easily intimidated, and that alone says Volumes! but all the protest and the folks not thinking before they decide to become a brood mare for the state should have a no choice but to either have their tubs tied or be on something to stop the kids from being reproduced, its a matter of tax dollars and feelings and when it comes to laws, Feelings have no place! and they shouldn't because it is not only you squeezing out or making a kid effecting folks, it is everything, after you simply think about it, if it is rape or incest yes they should have that option! but after getting to know a couple of folks and seeing the real footage of commercials, a lot of lies have been put out there about folks running for office that was never said or taken out of context, simply to cast doubt in your mind about that candidate, simply think before you hump folks it really isnt uhhhh that hard lol BTW I know my writing sucks but that's something (I) am working on, so dont send me your English lesson or writing insight I dont want it!
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This topic is a hot issue for me as a double minority. It's wild how I was born here yet I am still treated as if I am less than human or I am not worthy to have the same rights and access as others. You did a great job of bringing all of the information and facts together so it was easy to read. Thank you for writing
Nicely balanced article. There are fewer topics that evoke more emotion than Roe v. Wade. The Supreme Court is not a body that makes law, but one that interprets the Constitution and applies that interpretation to cases presented. I am in favor of having the states back in the game with this issue. More conservative states can make their decisions on this issue as well as more liberal and all of those in between. It was never a right guaranteed in the Constitution. This allows either side to be closer to the issue and participate with state government to make your voice heard. I happen to disagree that a baby should be aborted all the way up to 9 months, to me, that is murder. This country provides many ways to handle an unwanted pregnancy, the first being birth control and common sense. The whole point of starting Planned Parenthood was that Margaret Sanger was a believer in eugenics and wanted to curb people of color and the poor from giving birth. She succeeded as in New York (I believe 2018 stats) more black babies were aborted than born---sad. To me that is a wake-up call. Well, America has been awakened, go out and get involved!
"there's just no home on Vocal for content that divides us, rather than content that engages us and brings us together." Now this was in context of religion, but can we honestly say that it doesn't also apply to abortion. Either allow controversial topics such as religion and abortion both, or neither.
Thank you Vocal for bringing the topic up for discussion. This is a very serious topic and one that can't be ignored.
Oh wow, I missed this entirely when it got released. Really pleased to see Vocal has addressed this issue as many of us have been wondering how articles on this topic would be received.
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This is awesome! Thank you for making a statement and providing resources to the community
Thanks for supporting plan parenthood organization and what it stand for and Adding Michelle Obama letter to this story bring a stronger message and validation why it’s important.
"Jane" was an old code for finding a safe abortion. https://vocal.media/horror/janet-jane