Protect the Right to Choose
January 21, 2014
On January 22, 1973 the Supreme Court handed down its decision on the landmark case, Roe v. Wade. The case decided that states could not outlaw abortion in the first trimester (three months) of pregnancy and could only enact laws protecting the life of a fetus in the third trimester, and even then exceptions would have to be made to protect the life of the pregnant woman.
Before Roe v. Wade abortions were illegal in many states. The only way that a woman could get an abortion was illegally—sometimes with a doctor outside of his office or even with someone who wasn’t a doctor who just had tools to perform the procedure. On top of being illegal, abortions were extremely unsafe since they were usually performed in unsterile places or by someone who might not know what they were doing. Not to mention, it usually required the woman to pay a tremendous amount of money.
If you were a woman during these times and became pregnant, you did not really have any options. Roe v. Wade is so important because it gives women choice. If Roe v. Wade didn’t exist or if the Supreme Court had not ruled abortion a constitutional right guaranteed by the 14th Amendment, then pregnant women would still be forced to give birth or they would risk their lives getting dangerous abortions.
The main challenge I see the U.S. facing now is individual states trying to make it extremely hard for women to access abortion care once again. As a nation, we must uphold the standard set in 1973, because I believe everyone has a right to their make their own decisions about their own bodies.