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The Next Step After Roe V. Wade

Megan Hayes | News Editor

Demonstrators outside Supreme Court, 2022. / Evelyn Hockstein, Reuters

The United States’ Supreme Court is looking to make its next major decision on the topic of abortion after its overturn of the case court Roe v. Wade on June 24th of 2022. Roe V. Wade, a landmark supreme court ruling from 1973, guaranteed American citizens the right and liberty to choose to have an abortion (terminate a pregnancy). From that point on, the issue has been widely debated by many, forming into two distinct parties: “Pro-Choice” and “Pro-Life.” People who believe in “pro-choice" believe it is a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion should she want one. This party advocates for legalized abortion, as well as expansions on women’s reproductive healthcare to make it safer and more affordable for those in crisis. “Pro-life” believers, on the other hand, oppose abortion and believe it to be murder. People that share this ideology often advocate for abortion to be banned, and often aim for spreading their opinions with women who are looking to have abortions to change their minds. The issue has been a very fiery debate, and activism through protests or rallies can be seen at each end of the spectrum.

After the overturn of Roe V. Wade, the two opposing sides are still battling. Although Roe V. Wade removed the federal protected right for those who want an abortion to have one, it has not been able to ban practices of abortion. After the case was overturned by the Supreme Court, many Republican lawmakers turned to rally cries for completely banning abortion or removing access to it. However, this party has not been able to, as the views of banning abortion are tricky. Some want to remove the practices and ban it all together, without exceptions for circumstances like rape and incest. Some want exceptions, but then the idea veers into deciding the specific circumstances that determine someone as eligible for abortion. Outsiders not within the “pro-life” group are pleading for consideration, as abortion will not disappear altogether, and will become underground, illegal, and unsafe, as it was before 1973. There is also a debate on whether abortion should be allowed for people who are unfit to be parents, whether for a financial, emotional, age, or circumstantial basis.

The debate continues. This brings us to now, where the Supreme Court is deciding on whether Mifepristone, the pill used for 50% of pill-induced abortions, should be legal. Slowly, states are aiming to ban abortion, after the Supreme Court case in June of 2022 of Dobbs V. Jackson Women’s Health Organization allowed states to severely restrict or ban abortion altogether. This is why Mifepristone has become a crucial option for many, as it can be sent through the mail and taken at home to induce an abortion, therefore avoiding state restrictions, and allowing women to have the reproductive care as needed. Mifepristone's availability can be prescribed by medical professionals outside of doctors, which is why it can be sent through the mail and across state lines.

Antiabortion lawmakers are targeting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for their 2016 decision to approve Mifepristone for human consumption, as they feel it is unsafe although it has shown no evidence of being harmful. The Biden Administration has asked the supreme court justices to keep the medication available and legal for those who want to end their early-term pregnancies. Republican lawmakers in the Supreme Court are arguing against this, and it has caused an ongoing debate. As of now, the Supreme Court has until 11:59pm on Friday to decide the next move on abortion. Many are hoping the pill will be able to stay available, and many are rooting for it to be banned. This decision can pave ways for how we look at women’s reproductive care in the future, and will likely cause a wave of backlash, regardless of the side that the decision falls on.


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