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Abortion rights supporters and anti-abortion demonstrators rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 1, 2021.

Opinion- Supreme Court Should Not Overturn Roe v. Wade

In a leaked majority opinion draft obtained by POLITICO, the Supreme Court revealed that it is set on overturning Roe v. Wade.

Roe v. Wade, a decision ruled in 1973 that allowed the right to choose to have an abortion, is facing its biggest challenge yet. The current United States Supreme Court, a 6 – 3 conservative majority, will most likely end the 49 year-old ruling.

The draft majority opinion, written by conservative Justice Samuel Alito, contains damning words to those that require abortions, “We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled. The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision.”

Alito says in the initial draft, “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey (a decision affirming Roe) have enflamed debate and deepened division.”

This draft decision is the only one in the modern history of the United States Supreme Court that has been leaked to the public before the official decision was made.

Thirteen states, including the state of Utah, have trigger laws, which would immediately outlaw abortion in its entirety the moment Roe v. Wade is overturned. Other states with trigger laws include Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma, and Wyoming.

Studies have repeatedly shown that banning abortion and making it more difficult to access does not actually reduce the rate of abortion. In fact, abortion numbers remain about the same, but the danger spikes. Professional abortions do not present any danger to the patient, but illegal, ‘backalley’ and ‘coathanger’ abortions do. Surprisingly, abortion rates are actually lower in places with fewer restrictions on abortion procedures.

Even from an anti-abortion standpoint, logic dictates that abortion should remain federally legal. At least that way, they could be regulated by the government. Roe v. Wade being overturned could lead to a Prohibition-esque landscape – and we all know how that turned out.

According to an ABC News and Washington Post poll less than half a year ago, 60% of Americans believe that Roe v. Wade should be upheld, with only 27% wanting it overturned. 58% oppose increasing regulation on clinics that have abortion procedures. Over 75% of Americans believe that the decision for whether or not an abortion should be carried out should be left to the patient and the doctor.

To have such a consequential issue in the hands of such a small, unaccountable minority is unthinkable in the supposed ‘democratic’ United States of America. Arguably, with the only comparable case being Obergefell v. Hodges, the case allowing gay marriage, this ruling will be the most important decision in the last half-century.

Not only is this ruling incredibly detrimental to anyone that would want or need an abortion in the United States, it is also an extremely dangerous precedent to set. If the Supreme Court has the power to overturn a super-precedent case like Roe v. Wade, what is stopping them from going after the much younger same-sex marriage ruling next?

The Supreme Court is projected to maintain its conservative majority for years to come. In that time, who can hold them accountable? Certainly not the people, who don’t get to choose them. Certainly not the president, who has no control over them. And certainly not the legislature, despite approving them in the first place.

The Supreme Court is wreaking havoc on half a century of progressive victories. Once, not if, Roe is overturned, half of the states are set to immediately impose strict abortion bans, including most of the South and large parts of the Midwest. The state of Utah is one of them.

The United States, in no uncertain terms, is undoing decades of civil rights and civil liberties while the rest of the developed world moves forward. Even if you don’t care for abortion, you should still be worried.

Without speaking out, without standing up to fight for the right to choose, for the right to an abortion, can you truly call yourself an American? Honor your first amendment right. America is supposed to be the ‘land of the free’, yet the Supreme Court will not even let the American people choose what we do with our bodies.

Do Americans not stand for the oppressed? Are you the group that stands by while the state sics dogs on unarmed protesters, that sprays them down with fire hoses? Or are you part of the group that tells the state to stop? Are you one of those that would stand for the people that cannot stand for themselves?

Red Hive Collective, based in Utah, is one of those groups that stands against oppression, that stands for the side of civil rights and civil liberties. In a statement to the Alta Hawkeye, Red Hive Collective says that, “We stand in opposition to authority. We stand in opposition to injustice. We stand for those that will be impacted by this ruling. We stand for the right to choose.”

“Will you, fellow Utahn, stand with us? Stand up for your neighbors, your friends, your family, who will undoubtedly be affected. Stand up, we say, for your people!”

The protests that will spark from this ruling will no doubt be massive. In fact, the only movement this could possibly compare to would be the Black Lives Matter movement of 2020.

The collective organization gave information regarding a protest that would take place later this week. “At the Utah State Capitol, 4 P.M., May 5th, 2022 (Thursday), the people of Utah will give the Supreme Court our message: “We the people have the right to choose.”

Several Alta students have signaled support for this protest, with many pledging to show up at the State Capitol on Thursday. “We hope to see you there,” a representative for Red Hive Collective said, “After all, this is the world you will inherit.”

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