A Generation With Disappearing Rights

Essential court case Roe v. Wade overturned, leaves abortion laws up to states

A Generation With Disappearing Rights

Mikayla Mazza, Senior Writer

While students everywhere were basking in the early morning sun on June 24th celebrating summer, the United States Supreme Court released a decision to overturn one of the most well-known court cases the country has ever seen, Roe v. Wade. This decision explicitly restricts the right to privacy, which was previously established as a right implied in the United States Constitution.

Roe v. Wade, originally decided in 1973, permitted abortions during the first two trimesters of pregnancy all throughout the United States. This case set the standard that citizens have the constitutional right to choose whether or not to terminate a pregnancy due to the right to privacy and due process clause of the 14th Amendment in the U.S. Constitution. 

However, the constitutionality of Roe v. Wade was brought back into question during the 2022 Supreme Court Session. Speculation around the justices’ decision was finally put to rest on June 24th, 2022, when the Supreme Court used the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization to overturn Roe v. Wade and set an overriding precedent that states have the ability to control their abortion laws without federal oversight. 

This decision leaves abortion laws up to the states, so what does this mean for child-bearing people in Michigan? 

According to NBC News, “the Court’s ruling does not make abortion illegal, but with access to the procedure no longer deemed a constitutional right, states can now move to ban it.”

Many hold the argument that horrified reactions to the Roe overturning are baseless and extreme due to the fact that abortion is not yet completely illegal in Michigan. However, Michigan is one of nine states in the country that has an extremely harsh abortion trigger law that can be put back into place immediately because of the Roe overturning.

This law is an extreme abortion ban from 1931 which includes no exceptions for rape or incest. Thankfully, this harmful ban has not yet been put into place because of a temporary hold in the Michigan Supreme Court. However, if this 1931 law takes effect once more, abortion will be completely illegal in Michigan, and people throughout the state will lose their control over their bodily autonomy. 

Former First Lady Michelle Obama said it best, “I am heartbroken for people around this country who just lost the right to make informed decisions about their own bodies.”

Now, for many, the right to an abortion as a private medical decision is uncertain because it is no longer federally guaranteed. What used to be an individual’s choice for their own body has turned into something that can be regulated and banned by the government. Why are state governments now allowed to decide to force people to carry an unwanted pregnancy, a healthcare issue, to term? For what is supposed to be a democracy, the government clearly does not have any trust in people to make the decisions that are best for the course of their lives. 

Roe v. Wade was in place for people to be allowed to make the choice of carrying a pregnancy to term. The choice. If someone does not like abortions, then they simply do not have to get one, because they have the right to make that choice. 

Angela Davis, a longtime political activist and scholar, once said that, “if adequate resources are not available to create an abundance of choice, then choice itself is meaningless, reserved for only the most privileged and resourced.”

If the Michigan 1931 abortion ban is reinstated, people will be forced to resort to either carry their pregnancy to term, or risk their lives and receive an unsafe abortion, out of the hands of medical professionals. 

For a better state, the 1931 abortion ban cannot be put back into government policy. While it is temporarily on hold, who knows just how long it will stay that way. If people want to see the change that Michigan abortion policy so desperately needs, they need to contact political leaders and peacefully make their voices heard, or risk being silenced forever when the Michigan government reenacts this policy.