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Op-Ed: Laws by Men, For Men, to Control Women: What Young Adults Need to do in Order to Fix our Broken System

Emma Bussolotta | Staff Writer

In the two years since Roe v. Wade was overturned, 21 states have banned abortion, 14 of which are entire bans (Guardian). While this changed the lives of many and stole the bodily autonomy of millions, Oklahoman Republicans are proposing to entirely ban certain contraceptives like Plan B and IUDs, both of which are currently legal in all 50 states. This bill, called HB 3216, would also require physicians to file any legally performed abortions, which will then be transferred into a database, letting health departments identify any individuals who had an abortion (Oklahoman).

What happened to the land of the free? Bills like these are not healthcare. This is not what’s best for children. This is the Republican lawmakers seeking to control women. The overturning of Roe and bills like HB 3216 are Orwellian, and slowly taking away basic human rights to autonomy and privacy.

While some states have moved forward in having abortion pills more easily accessible through the pharmacy, plenty of women are left behind, trapped under laws made by men, for men. It’s not enough to be angry about bills. Action must be taken.

Vote: There is another crisis in America, where young adults are ignoring calls to action. In 2022, 23% of Americans under 30 voted (circle). The senile elders running our country are not going to change their ways when the American youth has no passion for political and humanitarian justice. When the demographic most affected by abortion bans doesn’t vote, policymakers in power are going to cater to them. So, teens and twenty-somethings, please send in your votes this November, whether it be in person or absentee. Your silence works against your body. Vote like your rights depend on it, because they do.

Sign (and make) Petitions: In the instance that there are other laws silencing youthful voices in voting, the next best thing is to sign petitions. The more petitions and more signatures make it harder for government officials and lawmakers to ignore a group’s voice. Petitions don’t have to be national, either. Local petitions, whether it be on-campus or in your hometown, start the domino effect that will topple unjust laws. Making sure your voice is heard at your school, work, and city is a first step in political justice.

Protest: In a similar vein to petitioning, protesting is a way to influence policymakers both locally and nationally, however protesting becomes more tangible. Public displays show the sheer volume of people willing to speak against injustice, pushing officials to make change. Similarly, protests spread awareness through their visuality and the media attention. Rallies like the Women’s March are happening this month, protesting against the Supreme Court in D.C. However, it’s entirely possible to stay local, and start your own rally.  

Donate: Not the most accessible option on this list, but donation is still an important aspect of justice. Whether it be donating to Kickstarters, personal GoFundMe’s, or [option 3], money is what shows politicians that the public means business.

However, the importance of donating to places such as women’s shelters cannot be undermined either. Clothing, sanitary products, hygienic and beauty products, can help someone when they need it most.

It should also be noted that Women’s Day is on March 8th, and that plenty of protests and petitions begin around Spring to combat the bans being made against human rights. This is the moment to get educated and pick up a protest sign. Whether you, dear reader, are able to check off anything on this list, making sure you’re staying educated on policies, rights, and injustice is the most important. Politicians have not silenced us yet. 






Aston, Alexia. “Would This Oklahoma Bill Actually Ban IUDs, Plan B? What We Know about HB 3216.” The Oklahoman, 21 Feb. 2024, Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

Sherman, Carter, and Andrew Witherspoon. “Abortion Rights across the US: We Track Where Laws Stand in Every State.” The Guardian, 12 Jan. 2024,

“State-By-State Youth Voter Turnout Data and the Impact of Election Laws in 2022.”, 6 Apr. 2023,


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