By Leaana Khan
On May 2nd, 2022, Politico obtained a leaked draft of a majority opinion from the Supreme Court written by Justice Samuel Alito that would overturn Roe v. Wade. Roe v. Wade established that a woman’s choice on whether to have an abortion was protected under the Fourteenth Amendment’ rights to privacy. Overturning the ruling from this forty-nine year old case will have dire consequences for those affected by the ruling and for the American political scene.
There are currently twenty-six states that are expected to restrict access to abortion if the ruling from Roe v. Wade is overturned. Many states even have “trigger laws” that will go into effect automatically if Roe v. Wade is overturned. When there isn’t safe access to this vital medical procedure, many women turn to less legitimate and more dangerous means of having abortions, such as the infamous coat hanger method. Banning abortions does not get rid of the need for them, it just denies women the medical care they need. Because of this, abortion clinics in neighboring states are preparing for an influx of patients coming in from states that ban abortion. California is even introducing legislation to cover costs for out of state residents that go to California to get an abortion. If more states follow suit, access to safe and affordable abortions will increase.
“Efforts” by the democrats in the Senate have been made in an attempt to codify Roe v. Wade’s decision, but none have been successful. A Democrat-led bill that would protect access to abortion nationwide failed in the Senate on May 11th. The final tally was marginally close, at 49 to 51. Those that voted against the bill include Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, who represents West Virginia and has previously described himself as pro life. The Democratic Party has only brought up this bill to give the illusion that they’re trying to help the American people. In reality, this is just part of a long streak of inaction from the party. Complacency is the root of neoliberalism with empty words thrown around to do nothing to ease the peoples’ suffering.
Despite politicians’ and the Supreme Court’s desire to overturn the case, it goes against what the majority of Americans want. A poll from CNN states that 69% of people are opposed to Roe v. Wade being overturned. 59% of Americans said that if it was overturned, they would want their state to set laws to protect abortion rights. What the government is doing directly contradicts the will of the people, and any government that goes against the people has failed as a democracy. Destroying the precedent of Roe v. Wade will only have detrimental effects for this country.