Roe v. Wade cannot be overturned

Sarina Grossi, Editorial Board

For millions of people in the United States, the past week has been extremely strenuous. On May 2, the initial majority opinion draft from the U.S. Supreme Court regarding the famous Roe v. Wade decision, known for cementing abortion as a constitutional right, was leaked to Politico. In the draft, the court’s opinion is to overturn the case, as Justice Samuel Alito writes that the original decision was “egregiously wrong from the start.”

The draft is not set in stone, as justices may change their vote and the final opinion is not expected to be published for another two months. Chief Justice John Roberts has also stated that the draft “does not represent a decision by the Court or the final position of any member on the issues in the case.” According to NPR, however, more than 20 states (almost half of the country) will adopt laws that will restrict or even ban abortion.

Alito wrote “that a right to abortion is not deeply rooted in the Nation’s history and traditions.” The Experience staff disagrees with the leaked draft opinion, as it removes autonomy from women and does not make logical sense.

We understand that although Pew Research Center states that about 6 in 10 Americans believe abortion should be legal, the Supreme Court’s job is not to represent the people and is to only interpret the constitution. However, the idea that just because the word abortion is not included in the constitution means that it cannot be constitutionally protected is an overly simplistic way to view a complex issue.

Although abortion is an ancient practice, the founding fathers could not have predicted its modern day prevalence. However, the constitution was written to be a living document, meaning that it should not be interpreted in the context of when it was written and instead applied with today’s perspective, contradicting Alito’s claim. 

You can apply the 14th Amendment to abortion as it claims that “no state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty or property.” The 9th Amendment also claims that “certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” With this context, is it not wrong to strip women’s autonomy of their bodies, their own property, due to any other constitutional right? 

Even if we ignore this, the historical information Alito uses as evidence is not logically sound. He quotes two 17th century treatises from Sir Matthew Hale, an Englishman, that claims abortion “of a quick child who died in the womb as a ‘great crime’ and a ‘great misprision.’” For Alito to use a case didn’t even happen in America and happened before the creation of the Constitution as an argument against abortion seems irresponsible, especially since he is only supposed to look at the American doctrine.

To understand why overturning Roe v. Wade would be devastating, imagine this; you got into a car accident and put another person in the hospital. It was your fault that the other person got injured and now they are on life-support and need an organ transplant. You happen to be a perfect match, so you agree to donate an organ to save the individual. Completely fine, right?

This would be different, however, if the government had forced you to give an organ to the other person just because you caused the accident. It would be directly taking away something you might need against your will, taking away any choice or autonomy in the situation. This analogy isn’t perfect, but it echoes what millions of individuals might deal with if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

Being pro-choice is not the same as being pro-abortion. You can personally be against abortion, and you can choose to give birth, but that is still a personal choice that (at the moment) you can hold because of Roe V. Wade. People should not dictate the health of others, as abortion is a decision made by a singular person and their doctor.

The Experience staff believes that abortion is a medical decision and should not be up to political debate or even state governance. The Supreme Court must not overturn Roe v. Wade, as we should stand for personal freedom.