This last week has been harder than most. However, this is not the first, nor will it be the last, time that the Supreme Court has overturned precedents that created positive change.
On June 24, the Supreme Court of the United States overturned the landmark case Roe v. Wade, which was decided on Jan. 2, 1973. This new ruling regarding this case strips federal protection of abortion from millions of people in the United States. According to the Guttmacher Institute, there are 26 states likely to outright ban abortion because of this ruling. Indiana is one of them.
Unfortunately, this is not the first case that has been overturned, recently or at all. The Supreme Court has been misinterpreting the will of the Founding Fathers for a long time, including abortion. Benjamin Franklin wrote directions on how to perform an at-home abortion in the 18th century, as shown in an article from NPR.
The Supreme Court cannot be voted out. It cannot be changed immediately. As it stands, the court’s conservative majority has held its power since the Trump administration. This is more than apparent in its recent decisions regarding Miranda v. Arizona and New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen.
For those who have not been following, here’s the short and not-so-sweet: if you are arrested, law enforcement will not be penalized for failing to read you your Miranda rights, such as the right to an attorney. It is also unconstitutional, according to this court, for states to enact constraints on having guns in public.
We should be concerned for ourselves. It should be a wake up call for citizens across the U.S.
On the other hand, this outcome is understandable. With a conservative court comes conservative decisions, as seen in the past few weeks. In no way am I endorsing this decision, in fact, I think the Supreme Court should be ashamed of themselves for abusing their power. The purpose of the Supreme Court is to extend the Constitution and provide new interpretations, not strip the public and themselves of their rights.
That being said, this is not the end of the world. The Supreme Court will only take away federal protections. The decision is now up to the states. Will they protect the right to an abortion, since it is healthcare, or will they be complicit in the deaths of thousands of U.S. citizens?
Within the next year, we should expect the Supreme Court to hear cases regarding the right to contraception, the right to same-sex marriage and the right to same-sex relationships. Justice Clarence Thomas called for the court to revisit these cases in his concurring opinion to overturn Roe.
I simply do not want to live in a country that does not protect my right to get married or have a relationship. I also do not want to live in a country that takes away my choice to have an abortion, should I need one. Yes, this is a terrifying thing, but I will hold out hope that the Supreme Court will do the right thing from here on out.
If they do not, I hope that the state I live in will protect me. If all else fails, I will be louder and prouder to be myself than I have ever been before. Write postcards to voters, attend local protests, call your senators and most importantly, above all else, stay true to yourself.
Charlotte Jones (they/her) is a sophomore studying English and journalism.