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The AHS Eagle

The student news site of Arlington High School

The AHS Eagle

The student news site of Arlington High School

The AHS Eagle

Continued Impact of Overturned Roe v. Wade Decision

K Wilson

The Dobbs v. Jackson’s Women’s Health Organization case plunged the original Roe v. Wade decision back into the spotlight in 2021. On June 24, 2022, the Roe v. Wade decision that had stood for over 50 years was overturned by the Supreme Court. 

The impact of this decision changed the entire country, allowing states to restrict abortion rights for women.  States continue to shut down and limit abortion rights.  Even 2 years after the ruling, state courts are still arguing about the right.  On May 2, 2024, 2 years after the abortion case was overturned, a total ban of abortion took place in Florida. 

Fourteen states have banned abortion of all forms. Some states have banned abortions with few exceptions such as pregnancies from sexual assault, the mother’s overall health, risk of death of a pregnant person, or where the embryo or fetus has abnormalities that could reduce their quality of life. Alyssa Acosta, (‘24) said, “I think there should be exceptions in any case where any harm has been done to the mother, that can be mental, physical. You know, obviously there’s situations like [sexual assault] and situations where she didn’t want to have a baby. For example, if the pregnancy always ends in a ton of medical issues both for the mom after the baby and the baby’s almost never viable, A mother shouldn’t have to go through all that stress both on her body and on her mind if her baby is not even going to be born.”

States that currently allow abortions with no restrictions are Alaska, Colorado, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Vermont, Washington DC. and Washington state. 

Many states in the southern U.S., such as Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, North and South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin have near-total bans or complete bans. Ms. Downey, a history teacher at AHS said, “we’re also starting to see in the states where abortions are illegal that some states are playing around with the idea that gosh, if a woman is in our state and is pregnant and goes somewhere to get an abortion and then comes back and is not pregnant, we should be able to prosecute her.” 

States continue to waver with their qualifications for abortion. Many are approaching the idea of abortion being completely banned. Harrison Alburn (‘24) said, “I think it’s interesting to leave it up to the states to decide on whether someone has the right to an abortion. It’s a little unfair because if someone was impregnated against their will, they’re too young, or they can’t afford it,  they’d have to travel a large distance to another state that would allow them to actually have an abortion.”

Women all over the United States have caused an uproar over this choice. They say  that it’s their bodies and they should be able to choose whether or not to have a child. For almost 5 decades the Supreme Court honored Roe’s belief that the Constitution protects a person’s right to make their own medical decisions. The Supreme Court continued to reaffirm the constitutional protection of abortion with many other cases such as Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey and Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, all ruling in favor of abortion.

People believe that personal beliefs are one of the main reasons Roe v. Wade’s case was overturned as three of the newest members of the United States Supreme Court, Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett, all have judicial records of being hostile to reproductive rights and healthcare.  

When asked if she thinks that the newest members had affected the overturn, Grace Davis (‘25) said, I think it totally does. The last, if it’s been like that for five years and I get social norms can change. Social ideas can change and it’s been a debate like the last few years about abortion. It’s been coming up more and more and more.”

Although ever since the Supreme Court ruled that abortion was legal in 1973, many anti-choice activists and politicians were already working to overturn the decision using TRAP laws that are laws which restrict and attempt to shut down abortion clinics.   

 Across 15 states, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, 79 abortion clinics have been available, but now the number of clinics has been drastically dropped to 13.  Davis (‘25) said,  “I think they won’t all close because they’re pretty spread out throughout the states. Across the states it’ll probably be half and half. I don’t think in the first place there were many abortion clinics in those states that are Republican. I don’t know about this for sure, probably you’ll see more of them in liberal states.”

Overall, the Roe V Wade overturn is still continuing to affect society.  States continue to fluctuate in women’s rights of abortion.  Acosta said, “especially right now people’s opinions of abortion are so extreme, you’d either believe in it or you’re extremely dull and it’s very hard to find the people who believe in that middle ground that are open to talking about it or that are going to be louder than those extreme voices. I think that because of that getting anything through Congress getting any kind of law through there is going to be really difficult but I think that is just going to be one of those situations.”

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