SCOTUS's Most Recent Decision
Overturning Roe v. Wade
When my grandmother was pregnant in the 50’s and 60’s, she and my grandfather knew to go to a Jewish obstetrician because should anything go wrong, a Jewish obstetrician saves the mother’s life. When my mother needed an emergency hysterectomy to save her life in the late 90’s, the doctors required her husband to sign off acknowledging he knew and consenting to it. From around 2018 to a couple months ago, when I told doctors I wanted my tubes tied I was denied, told no one would ever help me even in the most dire of circumstances, or was dismissed with no hope of a referral.
These are not separate issues. They all share the same root. Bodily anatomy. Our right to chose what happens to us.
My grandmother had difficult pregnancies. 3 before my mother, losing a set of twins shortly after they were born. Her mother did not want her to try again. She did, despite how angry her mother was at her, but it wasn’t her mother’s choice. It was hers. Her decision would be applauded today by the very people who wish to take away the rights of her granddaughter to similarly decide what I do with my own body.
Let’s put things in perspective. Roe v. Wade was passed in ’73. My mother, that came from my grandmother’s decision to use the limited bodily anatomy she had under the law, would have been 11 years old. The decision to overturn Roe v. Wade comes not even a full generation, not even 50 years.
Never mind that the moment my mother breathed her first breath, and my grandmother breathed her first breath, and every woman down the line of generations we can trace breathed their first breath, the world stopped caring about their life and them. The world stopped caring about my life. From the moment of birth, our entire existence had no value. And the people who made this decision to take away my right to decide what happens to me, would not cringe at such a description. They would not argue it.
I could sit here and list all the exceptions this decision ignores and should take into consideration from incest to forcing a woman to carry and birth a baby that died in her womb. But it’s not only about the exceptions. The very argument that passed Roe v. Wade was privacy. In other words, my body, my choice, and I owe no one an explanation.
Even this doesn’t acknowledge a litany of facts we already know, including abortion will still happen. What stops happening is safety and access for people who get pregnant who are poor. Or that denying bodily anatomy will be used to further racism, xenophobia, and more forms of hatred and discrimination, just as we saw in the immigrant interment camps with forced sterilization of adults who get pregnant at the same time as denial of abortion for teenagers.
As many others have brought up across social media, the concerns stretch to already broken systems that lead to already high numbers of maternal mortality and no support for the family or the individuals. Pro-life stops after birth and always has.
This isn’t some fallacy to freak people out. They should already be freaked out. Anyone with an 8th grade education from this country should remember, our laws are built on precedent.
What other issues of privacy will now be affected? If we can overturn a decision that has already been passed, what does this mean for other decisions, especially those that protect rights of people?
For those who will only hear the word “abortion” and stop listening, know that the implications and reverberations of this decision will reach you on a personal level and you will feel it. You should be scared. You should be angry. And when you are the one lamenting “why” and throwing your fist into the wall, remember, it will be this decision right here that is that wall.