It seems all but inevitable that the historic 1970 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling, which legalized abortion in the U.S., will be overturned. In his leaked opinion, Associate Justice Samuel Alito wrote that the highest court in the land should leave the issue of abortion up to the states because there is no mention of abortion in the U.S. Constitution.
Relinquishing the responsibility of protecting access to abortion to states means that red states will be able to not only outlaw, but prosecute people who receive or provide abortions. While the political power of women has increased over the years, they are still nowhere near to the level of representation that men enjoy.
It is long overdue that women get more of a say in the laws that affect them. Creating laws that withhold the right of women to be healthy and happy have no place in a country that prides itself on equality.
Six of the nine Supreme Court Justices are men. One of the three female justices, Amy Barrett, was a member of the Catholic cult People of Praise, which prided itself on protecting patriarchal values and traditional gender roles before joining the court.
The current Congress has more women than ever before: 144 women out of 535 voting members who currently serve between the Senate and the House of Representatives. That means that a governmental body that is more than 70% male will be responsible for making decisions that do not affect them.
That kind of supermajority effectively means that women, who make up more than 50% of the US population, will have no say in what happens to their bodies. With these kind of decisions being essentially left up to the discretion of a male-dominated congress, it's concerning to think what laws may be passed without the input of the people they primarily affect
For perspective regarding what at least one right-wing politician thinks about women, let’s look at what Michigan State House candidate Robert Regan said to his daughters: “If rape is inevitable, you should just lie back and enjoy it.”
While Regan’s comment does not represent the feelings of all men or even all of the GOP, I am sure it is more than alarming to anyone, especially anyone who has ever been a victim of a sexual crime, that someone like him could receive a singular vote.
The man who's responsible for a pregnancy has no legal responsibility to that child until after it is born. If this case is overturned, nothing will change for the father, but everything will change for the mother. She could be required by law to carry her baby to term, regardless of whether it is a threat to her or the fetus’s health or if the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest.
We live in a time where legally, women are afforded the same rights as men. Overturning Roe v. Wade would be a drastic blow to the right of women to have control over their own bodies. We need to hear more from the voices of women in these conversations, not men.
C.A. DeJong (he/him) is a secular humanist studying journalism at IU.