Roe V. Wade: U.S. Supreme Court Debates Long Term Effect

Support for Pro-Choice

Support for Pro-Choice

Anthony Acevedo, Photography Editor

Before we get into the meat and potatoes of this story, here’s a simplified version of what Roe V. Wade is: A woman’s right to abortion is protected by her right to privacy under the fourteenth amendment which basically gives women the right to decide whether or not they want to carry a pregnancy to term.

This law was passed back on January 22, 1973, but due to a current leak from the Supreme Court, the entire world was exposed to the decision-making process, specifically regarding women’s right to abortion and to some extent, the public’s access to birth control.

Women, of course, are in a state of panic due to the fact that they won’t be able to control the one thing that should be treated as a right. This controversy is handing that decision over to the states that many women live in.

Many civilians are posting their opinions on Twitter regarding the overturning of the law and from what has been written, the people seem to be in agreement that this shouldn’t be happening and that they themselves should be able to make the decision to have an abortion.

Women on Twitter have been saying that in some cases bearing a child could be life-threatening and others have been sharing their personal experiences being in that exact situation. They’ve shared how getting an abortion was the only way for them to keep their life. While some argue that having an abortion is what is taking lives, many believe it is ultimately the woman’s decision to make and nobody else’s.

Birth Control Methods

Some people as well as news articles are saying that if Roe V. Wade gets overturned, it could not only affect women but men as well. For example, according to MSNBC, having this law overturned would affect a man’s ability to plan how many children he wants and when he wants to have them. It could also affect a person’s ability to access birth control–regardless of gender.

According to an article written by Elizabeth Wolfe for CNN, these are the states where abortion rights will be protected if Roe v. Wade is overturned.  The states that will protect abortion rights are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington (and by extension Washington DC). This is how they are able to protect the right to abortion

California: According to the state’s health and safety code in California, the right to have an abortion is protected until the fetus is considered viable and in cases where procedures are necessary to save a patient’s life or health in general.

Colorado: The governor of the state, Jared Polis, signed a bill in April that guarantees a pregnant person’s right to have an abortion and to make decisions about how to exercise that right and bans public entities from depriving people of that right, the law does not specify at which stage of pregnancy abortions can no longer be performed and that fertilized eggs, embryos, and fetus’ are not protected by this law.

Connecticut: The law of Connecticut protects the right to receive an abortion until the fetus is viable, after which procedures can only be performed to protect the life or health of the pregnant person. It also states that minors under 16 are required to get counseling before consenting to an abortion except in the case of medical emergencies.

Delaware: Physicians can legally terminate pregnancies until the fetus is viable. After this occurs, abortions are banned unless required to protect the life of a pregnant person, though they are allowed if a medical provider detects a fetal anomaly.

Hawaii: Abortions are legal before a fetus is considered viable and the state cannot interfere with a woman’s right to choose or obtain an abortion.

Illinois: Back in 2019, the state passed a law that established the fundamental right to reproductive care including abortion, and legalized abortion up until the fetus is deemed viable, after which abortion is only legally protected when it is required to save the life of a patient’s life.

Maine: Abortions are considered legal until the fetus is viable and there are additional limitations on minors.

Maryland: In April the Democratic-controlled general assembly overrode a veto from the Republican Gov. Larry Hogan and passed a bill expanding the types of health care professionals that can perform abortions.

Massachusetts:  In 2020, a law was amended that allows abortions to be performed up to 24 weeks and can be performed by a physician, a physician’s assistant, a nurse practitioner, and a nurse-midwife. After the 24-week mark, the law states abortions can only be performed by a physician.

Nevada: A law was passed in 1990 that states abortions can only be performed by a physician at 24 weeks into pregnancy.

New Jersey: The right to abortion is protected at all stages of pregnancy. A law passed in January codified the reproductive choice and that included abortion

New York: A law was passed in 2019 that preserved the access to abortion in case something like this happened, abortions can legally be performed at 24 weeks

Oregon: In 2017, a bill was passed saying the public can’t deprive women of the choice to receive an abortion or interfere with a medical professional providing the service

Rhode Island: The governor signed a bill in 2019 banning the state from restricting abortions until the fetus is viable

Vermont: In 2019, a law was passed that recognized the fundamental right of every individual who becomes pregnant to have an abortion and bars government entities  from infringing on that right

Washington: In 1991 voters narrowly approved a measure that declared a woman’s right to receive an abortion until the fetus is deemed viable

Washington DC: The right to receive an abortion at any stage of pregnancy is protected under the law, which prohibits the district from denying or interfering with a person’s right to choose to receive one.

Each of these 16 states found similar ways to protect abortion rights in one way or another.