Roe v. Wade Ruling In Consideration: What Does It Mean for Ohioans? The Supreme Court may be preparing to overturn the ruling of the 1973 decision regarding Roe v. Wade, a critical decision in regards to the privacy of women’s health. Learn more about the facts of the case, the decision being questioned, and what it means for Ohioans right here on Newsymom!
On Monday, POLITICO released the 98-page initial draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision (and 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey). In the document, Justice Alito says the following regarding these two decisions made in the past:
“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, including the one on which the defenders of Roe and Casey now chiefly rely–the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. That provision has been held to guarantee some rights that are not mentioned in the Constitution, but any such right must be “deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition” and “implicit in the concept of ordered liberty.” Washington v. Glucksberg, 521 U.S. 702, 721 (1997) (internal quotation marks omitted).”
(SCOTUS Initial Draft, Page 5)
About the Cases in Reference:
In 1970, a plaintiff going by the name Jane Roe (to protect her identity) sued the District Attorney of Dallas County, Henry Wade, challenging a Texas law making abortion illegal except by a doctor’s orders to save a woman’s life. In this lawsuit, Roe alleged that the state laws infringed on her right to personal privacy, protected by the First, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments. Roe won the case with an astounding 7-2 decision from the Burger Court.
In Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the question asked in this case was, “Can a state require women to obtain informed consent (married women from their husbands, minor girls from a parent) prior to having an abortion without infringing on their right to abortion as guaranteed from Roe v. Wade?” This case was more of a bitter battle, but won in favor of the reaffirmation of Roe in a 5-4 vote by Rehnquist Court.
What Does This Document Mean for Ohioans?
The intention of this document, according to supporters, is to give the power back to the people and their elected representatives. It will be up to the states individually to determine their laws on how to handle abortions. If overturned, there will no longer be national protections for women in search of a safe termination of pregnancy.
Here in Ohio, Governor Mike DeWine is known for supporting legislation providing barriers on access to abortions, signing in support of Senate Bill 23, AKA The Heartbeat Bill in 2019. The Heartbeat Bill prohibits abortion if fetal heartbeat is detected. To put it in perspective, a fetus’ heartbeat can be detected as early as 5½ to 6 weeks gestation. Most women find out they’re pregnant during weeks 4-7, according to the American Pregnancy Association. In short, a woman has a good chance of not being able to legally receive a termination before she finds out she’s pregnant. And any medical professional who aids in abortion or woman who gets an abortion will be subject to punishment as determined by each state’s laws.
The Heartbeat Bill has its effects delayed due to the protections provided by decisions like those of Roe and Casey, but should they be overturned, each state’s representatives will make the decisions on what happens to those who seek out termination.
A Nation Divided
The talks of overturning the decisions of Roe and Casey have sprung about three major opinions on the issue of pregnancy termination. For one group, often called Pro-Life activists, they believe abortions should be banned no matter the circumstance. Every baby from conception has a voice and, in turn, should be protected to term.
Another group, Pro-Choice activists, believe in a woman’s choice to matters of her body and personal privacy, including safe options for pregnancy termination. These activists align with the decisions of the court made in cases like Roe.
The final group is on the fence. They believe women should be able to have an abortion if the circumstances make sense, such as the instances of incest or rape.
Strikes Begin Nationally Among Women To Fight Back
Women across the nation will be fighting back against this overturn in a massive national strike starting on Mother’s Day. Dubbed The Mother’s Day Strike, the goal is to “hit them in the bank”. No working, shopping, stimulating the economy… The strike is providing a way for women to fight back by hitting where it hurts–the bank! They continue their work to protect women’s rights, especially pertaining to health concerns, and seek term limits for Supreme Court Justices.
For those in tough situations, there are other ways to support the cause in case you want to show your support, but can’t call off work: How to Support the Mother’s Day Strike
Strikes by women have been successful before. In 1975, at least 90% of Iceland’s women went on strike to rock the economy. As expected, everything shut down when women said no to work and took a day off. Learn more about The Women’s Day Off (AKA Kvennafrídagurinn).
What Can I Do to Show My Support?
Regardless of which group you align with, the best thing you can do is reach out to your representatives! Call them, text them, email them… tell them exactly what you want to see happen. Otherwise, they don’t know what you’re asking for!
You can call your State Representative or Senator at 1-800-282-0253. (See “How to Call Your Legislator”)
You can also check this link to your Ohio State-Elected Officials.