Overturning of Roe v. Wade elicits students response


On June 24, Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court with a decision of 6-3. Roe v. Wade is a Supreme Court case that
protected people’s right to abortion under the constitution. The constitutional right to abortion was established in 1973 when a pregnant woman named Norma McCorve—known under the pseudonym “Jane Roe”—filed a lawsuit against the Texas abortion laws and Henry Wade, the district attorney of Dallas County. In Texas, abortion procedures were only legal when the mother’s life was in danger. Roe argued that the Texas state abortion laws were vague, violated the right to privacy and were unconstitutional.
When the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Roe with a majority decision, abortion became a constitutionally protected right. Supreme Court members who supported Roe argued that keeping abortions illegal violated the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which ensures the right to privacy.

Now that abortion is no longer a constitutionally protected right, individual states can determine whether or not abortion is legal
within their borders. Governor Gavin Newsom announced that abortion will remain legal in California after signing legislation aimed at protecting people who need abortions and doctors who assist with abortions. Since the announcement of the overturning, many have attended protests all across the United States. Junior Shea Donnelly attended a peaceful protest at City Hall in San Jose the Saturday after Roe v. Wade was overturned.

“My family and I decided [that] we want to stand up for [the right to abortion] because we’re in California so it’s not necessarily fighting for our rights but as a whole fighting for the rights of people who can get pregnant around the U.S.,” they said. Outside of California, junior Sarah Shelby protested in Washington D.C. in front of the White House. “It was an overall positive atmosphere,” Shelby said. “Everyone had creative signs and people were chanting things [such as] ‘the Supreme Court has got to go’ and ‘we want access.’”

Shelby also protested in 2016 at the Women’s March in San Francisco. She noted the history of protesting and how it has allowed
individuals to express opinions in support of many causes, such as reproductive rights and women’s rights. “There were also some
women dressed as suffragettes supporting the pro-choice movement, that was quoting when suffragettes also tied themselves to the White House for women to get to vote,” Shelby said. “People were using the green bandanas to tie their wrists to the gate of the White House.” When Shelby was first informed of the overturning, she was shocked. “I thought Roe v. Wade was something that had a precedent and was well established,” she said. “But having it overturned just in the blink of an eye was really scary.”

On May 2, before it was officially announced, an initial draft majority opinion of the Supreme Court decision was leaked. Upon hearing the news, junior Chania Rene-Corail attended a protest in Mountain View. “There were people of all races, ages and genders which really showed that this is an issue that affects everyone and that everyone should be participating in and helping with,” she said. The overturning of Roe v. Wade opens the possibility for other Supreme Court cases to be overturned, such as Obergefell v. Hodges which protects the constitutional right to same-sex marriage.

Donnelly is worried about the decisions the Supreme Court is making and the effects of those decisions for themselves, family and
friends. “The Supreme Court is coming for gay marriage next,” they said. “One Supreme Court Justice said legalizing same-sex marriage was a bad idea. Every overturn decision that they make affects someone and a lot of them don’t get as much news coverage as overturning Roe v. Wade because they’re not as big.” Rene-Corail has concerns about the effects that overturning Roe v. Wade will have on other Supreme Court cases and in turn, the health of children and those who can get pregnant. “I’m scared that the effects this might have on gay marriage and interracial marriage, but this is also going to increase the number of kids that
are in foster care,” she said. “[It’s] also going to increase the number of people who have huge health problems or who might die because of pregnancies.”