Overturning Roe v. Wade: A hypocrite’s dream

If people were really “pro-life,” they might do things differently


Zoe Lodge

A sign at a pro-choice rally in San Luis Obispo that reads “Abort the Court”

The 2022 Met Gala took place on Monday, May 2nd. The theme was “gilded glamour” and the internet was outraged that almost none of the major celebrities in attendance seemed to stick to the theme. However, many overlooked who really pulled through on the theme of the Gilded Age- the American government.

The Gilded Age took place in the late 1800s and was a time of “gross materialism and blatant political corruption” in the U.S (Britannica). 

Fittingly, as high society’s finest graced the red carpet, decked in thousands of dollars of garments and jewels, the Supreme Court took us right back to the gilded age through a leaked document that revealed the plan to overturn the famous Roe v. Wade case. 

Roe v. Wade, a case not even fifty years old, is seen as a landmark for women’s rights in American history. In January of 1973, the Supreme Court decided that it is within the “right to privacy” for a pregnant woman to decide whether or not she wants to get an abortion. In the more specific language of the ruling, it is outlined that states may not regulate abortion decisions in the first trimester (conception to twelve weeks). In the second trimester (twelve to twenty-four weeks of pregnancy) states may only impose regulations when “reasonably related to maternal health,” and in the third trimester (twenty-four to forty weeks) states may regulate or entirely prohibit abortions as long as they include exceptions to save the life of the mother.  

A sign at a SLO pro-choice rally that reads “Bans off our Bodies” (Zoe Lodge)

According to the CDC, 92.7% of legal abortions in the United States take place at 13 weeks or earlier.

“Doctors often consider fetal viability the point at which a baby can be resuscitated at delivery and can survive without significant morbidity,” stated by the CDC.

Twenty-four weeks is widely considered the point of fetal viability, well past the point that the vast majority of abortions take place. “Pro-life” activists argue that abortion is taking a human life, but scientifically and medically, the point at which most abortions take place is well before the point of viability outside the womb. The fetus can literally not survive outside the womb at that point and is scientifically not yet a baby. 

A more recent direct threat to babies in the United States is the baby formula shortage. The Access to Baby Formula Act was addressed in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, May 18th, and nine Republican representatives voted against it. One of the opposers of this bill was Marjorie Taylor Greene, a vocal supporter of the overturning of Roe v. Wade. If the situation weren’t so dire, it would nearly be comical. Greene, who claims to advocate for the life and rights of infants, voted against a bill designed specifically to save the lives of infants. The hypocrisy never ceases to amaze, and once again proves that the politicians who express support for the “pro-life” movement aren’t really pro-life, but instead simply advocates for carrying a pregnancy to term. 

If these politicians and public figures were really in it for the babies and children of America, certain things would be very different. One difference is the fact that workplaces are only required to give women twelve weeks of paid maternity leave after the birth of a child, hardly enough time for a woman to adjust to motherhood and give an infant undivided attention for the first major stages of its life. Another is how certain legislators, as previously mentioned, vocalize their opposition to helping working-class mothers during the baby formula shortage, showing that if a baby is born into a family of lower economic status and less access to certain products, they will not receive the same treatment or grace as families with higher economic status. What about if the baby that these people are so adamant about “protecting” turns out to be a person of color or part of the LGBTQ+ community, or put up for adoption? What happens then? Certainly not this protection they speak of. If anything, the exact opposite. 

In Florida, from the same pro-life lawmakers, came the “Don’t Say Gay” Bill. This bill targets LGBTQ+ youth in Florida. It mandates that LGBTQ+ students must be outed to both parents and teachers if their identity is discovered in a school setting, as well as requiring that education involving sexual orientation or gender identity in any matter must be stripped from schools. This can be especially dangerous for LGBTQ+ youth who have dangerous home situations, already face higher rates of suicide and mental illness, and often rely on spaces outside of the home that emphasize community and understanding of identity. DeSantis clearly doesn’t seem to care very much about kids already living and going to school in his state.

In 2021, the Supreme Court ruled that it was within the rights of a Catholic adoption agency to refuse LGBTQ+ foster parents and adoptive parents, allowing other religious adoption agencies to do the same. The Supreme Court must not care that much about babies if they’re actively making it more difficult for ready, loving parents to adopt children. Again, practically comical how some believers in the “pro-life” cause that preach adoption as an alternative option for those considering abortion then turn around and place further obstacles in the way of those looking to adopt. Not to mention the fact that kids that go through the adoption process and foster care have been recorded to have experienced high levels of trauma and mental health issues. Maybe, if overturning Roe v. Wade was really about bettering the lives of children or creating alternatives, the adoption and foster care systems would be more accommodating to LGBTQ+ couples and create a healthier environment for the mental health of affected kids. 

Another shining example of the hypocrisy of American lawmakers in this situation is how many conservative states have laws in place that would not only immediately ban abortion if Roe v. Wade were to be overturned, but also ones that would severely restrict access to birth control and other contraceptives. Let me get this straight, the Supreme Court and “pro-life” lawmakers don’t want women to be able to terminate an unwanted or unplanned pregnancy, but they also don’t want women to have access to the tools that prevent unwanted pregnancies. If there’s no birth control, and no access to abortions, what are we supposed to do?  

About a year ago, as COVID-19 vaccines were required to enter certain restaurants or to go places without a mask, there was a post circulating. It had a picture of a syringe and said in loopy cursive: “my body, my choice.” The post didn’t have anything to do with support for Planned Parenthood, or the popular slogan used to protect women’s bodily autonomy for ages, no. It was about vaccine mandates. This post and slogan was shared by many people who I have watched share anti-abortion posts and call for the shutdown of Planned Parenthood. This idea was adopted by politicians who make their stance against abortion clear. 

Why do these people think that they can have it one way, but not the other? They stand so fiercely against certain businesses and administrations requiring masks or vaccinations to partake in their services over a claim to their body, yet don’t bat an eye at restricting someone of a life-saving procedure. 

Hundreds of people march in support of Planned Parenthood in SLO (Zoe Lodge)

In a terrifyingly ironic turn of events, Republican lawmakers in Texas have introduced a bill that could go into effect after the overturning of Roe v. Wade that would enable women who had an abortion to be charged with homicide, something that would receive the death penalty as punishment. Lawmakers are so “pro-life” that they want to kill women for getting abortions. 

That’s just the far extreme, too. Women in states with trigger laws and restricted abortion access have gotten charged with infanticide for miscarriages or accidents that result in the loss of a pregnancy. 

What it boils down to is that the potential overturning of Roe v. Wade is dangerous and terrifying to almost all women of America. We’re watching the reversal of history by a group of hypocrites, and there’s nothing we can do about it. We’re losing our bodily autonomy to an institution that wasn’t supposed to mix religion and politics. Not only that, but women may not be the only ones endangered by this horrifying leak. The grounds for overturning, as outlined in the document by Justice Alito, are that Roe v. Wade does not have a strong enough rooting in the history of America and the constitution. By this reasoning, any Supreme Court ruling since the establishment of the United States that isn’t specifically “rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition” is at risk of also being overturned. 

That means that cases that were determined on the same grounds as Roe v. Wade, such as Loving v. Virginia (interracial marriage) and Obergefell v. Hodges (gay marriage), are in jeopardy. 

At this point, I’m terrified. I thought that these cases, having already been established, were set in stone. Something I wouldn’t have to worry about as I move through adolescence and into adulthood as a young queer woman in America. Instead, I have to live with the prospect that higher-ups both have the power and intent to strip away my rights, one by one.