why I'm outraged and why you should be too

Lucy Palma '23

Last night, I was scrolling through my phone when I got a notification that a Supreme Court draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade had been leaked. Honestly, I was in complete shock; my mom had been telling me for weeks that it didn't look good and Roe could be overturned, but I never fully believed her. Seeing the notification on my phone and reading the Politico article with the draft attached was the first time I realized this was real. For the first time in its history, the Supreme Court was rolling back a constitutional right that it had granted its citizens of the United States. Despite the fact that an overwhelming amount of Americans believe in a woman’s right to choose her reproductive future, five Supreme Court justices that pledged in their confirmation hearings that Roe was an established law voted to overturn it anyway.

 For me, Roe has embodied more than just a case that legalized abortion. For me it embodied all different types of basic women’s rights, women’s rights that are human rights. Reproductive Rights are not a “female issue”; they are a human issue. The advances women have made in society and in the workplace are a direct result of laws that have enabled women to have control over their reproductive rights. Pro-life advocates can make their own choices about their own bodies. However, stripping every American woman of their rights to reproductive freedom is not just nor fair, and is instead controlling and suppressive. How much longer will we allow our government, comprised mostly of men, to use its power to strip women of their rights and to further set them back? The reality is overturning Roe will not stop abortions, but just stop safe and accessible ones. Therefore, this decision is simply a power grab by the men in our society to reinforce a patriarchal order that has been slipping out of their hands.

One of the things that makes me so outraged is the hypocrisy the Republican party has shown regarding legislation that supports life. They are very quick to call themselves “pro-life”; however, they are not pro-life once the baby is born. They are anti-gun control legislation, which protects the lives of kids whose parents have named them and watched them grow up. They refuse to fund beneficial healthcare for new mothers who have just had a baby and need support. They are anti-early childhood education and subsidized daycare, so mothers who need to work to support their baby continue to not have a safe and affordable place for that child to go. The reality is, that our society does not make it economically or socially easy for women to have children. Maternal leave is minimal at best, and the income gap makes it even harder for women to support themselves and their dependent children. 

In America, the groups most likely to get an abortion are women of color, specifically Black women, women who are young, and women from low economic backgrounds. Republicans repeatedly refuse to support legislation that would give these groups of women the ability to freely choose to have a child that they know they can support and educate. As a white woman who is lucky enough to have the economic resources to travel to a sanctuary state to get an abortion if one is needed, I am angry for myself, but I am mostly angry for the women who simply cannot afford to travel to get a safe abortion if Roe is overturned. These are the women that we have chosen to abandon in so many ways in our country. If men were the ones who needed abortions in our society, would the Supreme Court be racing to overturn Roe?