Point/Counterpoint: Should There be a Constitutional Right to Abortions?

Point/Counterpoint: Should There be a Constitutional Right to Abortions?

Kiera Decesare and Ryan Hoffman

          “Nobody should be able to force somebody to carry out a pregnancy and give birth to a baby that they do not want, or physically cannot carry safely.”

Kiera DeCesare, Online Editor


   On June 24th, 2022, the Supreme Court published its document containing the decision tp overturn Roe v. Wade, the case that acted as a precedent for many other cases and gave women the constitutional right to end their pregnancy. Living in a world where Roe v. Wade was overturned used to be a far-off fear in the minds of many women around the country, however, now that fear is a reality, and women around the country are suffering because of it. The overturning of Roe v. Wade is a critical blow to women’s rights around the country. 

   I have grown up with 2 parents in the women’s health field, my parents both being trained in Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2 fields who have seen firsthand what outlawing abortions does. It creates unsafe, “backyard” abortions. According to Doctors Without Borders, at least 22,800 women die per year from unsafe abortions, and there are even more women who suffer from complications including sepsis, renal failure, hemorrhage, uterine perforation, and damage to other organs. Both of my parents have had many patients rushed to them who end up dying from complications from these unsafe abortions. With the overturning of Roe v. Wade, these stories about women dying from unsanitary, unsafe abortions will become increasingly common. 

   Roe v. Wade protected the right to abortion. It did not force women to get an abortion, it gave them the right to choose. If it is against your religion or personal views, then you don’t have to get an abortion. But just because it is against someone else’s morals doesn’t mean they should get to make a decision about someone else’s body. Nobody should be able to force somebody to carry out a pregnancy and give birth to a baby that they did not want, or physically could not carry safely. Not to mention, many of the states with strict abortion laws do not give exceptions for victims of rape or incest. 

   On a related note, leaving abortion laws up to the states creates confusion and contradiction in laws between states. One example of this is a 10-year-old rape victim was forced to travel from Ohio, a state with no abortions after 6 weeks with no exceptions for rape and incest victims, to Indiana, the closest state that would provide her with an abortion. In Texas, abortion is now a felony, with a sentence up to life in prison. Texas is willing to incarcerate capable doctors while there is already a healthcare worker shortage because they are willing to provide healthcare for women. In Florida, a 16-year-old girl was denied an abortion, the court said that the girl was not mature enough to make the decision to get an abortion. It is undeniably unfair that a court can tell a girl that she is not mature enough to make a choice about her body. To force her to give birth and be responsible for a child. 

   Going back to my last point, as well as taking away a women’s right to choose if she would like to terminate a pregnancy, it also endangers a woman. In Ireland, a dentist was denied a lifesaving abortion, as a result, she died. The fetus was not compatible with life, and the doctors knew that the women would die without an abortion. However, the doctors were not able to carry out the necessary procedure because of the country’s strict abortion laws. Not to mention, the standard of care for an ectopic pregnancy, a pregnancy outside of the uterus, is an abortion. The chances of an ectopic pregnancy surviving to birth almost never occurs, and ectopic pregnancies if not treated can harm the mother. 

   The striking down of Roe v. Wade also leads to other concerns, like privacy. Roe v. Wade was passed because of the 14th amendments due process guaranteeing the right to privacy. The overturning of this could impact everyone. Menstruation tracker apps could be forced to give up data to governments and The Washington Post proved in May that google searches and social media could be enough information to determine if a women got an abortion. Now, that data may no longer be private and would have to be surrendered to a state’s government. As well as data collection that could harm women, the overturning of Roe v. Wade could lead to apps being able to sell personal data, including things like the locations you visit, your full name, email and birthday. 

   Roe v. Wade, like all laws, had its flaws. However, the constitutional right to abortion is something that is needed. Women should have the right to choose what happens to their body. 

It just isn’t morally okay to take someone’s life away, especially even before they’re able to live and defend themselves.”

Ryan Hoffman, Staff Member 

   The recent overturn over Roe Vs. Wade has drawn outcry all throughout America. This decision is historically significant because it no longer protects abortion as a right on the federal level of government. This means it is now each state’s decision if they want to outlaw abortion or allow it to stay legal. 

    As of September, 13 states have banned abortion including Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, And Wyoming, in addition another 13 states likely to follow suit. On the other hand, there are 24 states who are in clear opposition to the recent decision and wish to keep abortion legal. 

   Since the decision, abortion protests have sparked in every major area of the United States, with counter protests popping up in response, although many protests started far before the official announcement after a leak in the supreme court’s opinion. People who support abortion are worried that if impregnated, they will have no option other than to have the child even if the fetus is unstable or miscarried. They argue that women have a right to do whatever they please with their bodies. They also argued that male supreme court judges have no right to decide what woman can do with their bodies (even though Roe Vs Wade came into effect because of male supreme court judges). However, those who support the overturn of Roe Vs Wade argue that a human fetus is not part of the woman carrying it and is a human, meaning that abortion is killing a human.  

   This difference in ideology, alongside many others, has helped deepen a major divide in America, with nearly every person taking sides at the extremities of the right or left wings. 

    Some extremely angry protesters have taken steps further than protests and have taken to harassing supreme court judges. Videos have surfaced on social media sites of people displaying many personal details about supreme court justices’ such as their addresses, which puts them and their families in danger of death threats which have been sent in tandem with the videos. Protests are one thing, but death threats and personal information leaks are a form harassment that are simply unacceptable.  

   Altogether, abortion is completely unnecessary. First, birth control is very prevalent and accessible making pregnancy very preventable. Other forms of birth control should be sought after first instead of waiting until becoming pregnant then removing a living human fetus. Another argument which was previously stated is that fetuses are still a part of a women meaning that women should be able to receive an abortion if they want. The problem with that statement is that biologically the fetal stage is part of human development, meaning that the child isn’t part of the woman. Finally, every pregnancy has a chance to become a functioning person in society, and aborting the child eliminates the baby’s chance to live. It just isn’t morally okay to take someone’s life away, especially even before they’re able to live and defend themselves. Everyone has the right to live, and abortion is taking away a person’s chance to experience life. The same people who are in support of abortion also only have the opportunity because their parents gave them a chance at life, and in the words of Ronald Regan, he said, “I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born.”