Leaked Documents Cause Speculation Over the Overturning of Roe v. Wade, What Comes Next?



Jane Roe and her lawyer take a picture outside of the Supreme Court during the Roe v. Wade case

Emily Padilla, Editor-in-Chief (English)

Roe v. Wade is a crucial case associated with women’s health and the right to privacy.  Jane Roe, a woman who chose to remain anonymous, filed a lawsuit against Henry Wade, the district attorney of Dallas County, Texas.  She challenged the Texas law that made abortion illegal, raising the question of whether or not the state law was unconstitutional according to the 1st, 4th, 5th, 9th, and 14th Amendments that implied the right to privacy. This case concluded with a 7:2 decision, establishing that a woman’s right to have an abortion falls within the right to privacy protected by the Due Process Clause of the 14th amendment.

Nearly 50 years later, the precedent created by Roe v. Wade is in danger of being overturned. On May 2, documents were leaked, revealing the court’s intention to take a vote to keep or outlaw abortion. As of now, an investigation is underway to find out who leaked the documents. However, this is not the first time that documents like these have been leaked. According to NPR, the original Roe v. Wade ruling was also leaked.

If Roe v. Wade is overturned; its effects are not limited to abortion procedures. It is a decision that will impact everyone. The Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade was established using Griswold v Connecticut’s precedent case. This case established a couple’s right to use contraceptives without government restrictions. By overturning Roe v. Wade, contraceptives could be next in line to be banned.

Roe v. Wade is an essential case that established the right to privacy. Since then, cases like Obergefell v. Hodges were built on the right to privacy. Obergefell v. Hodges was a case that found that same-sex couples have the right to marry. Overturning Roe v. Wade will leave these cases in danger of being overturned.

The chances of this decision being overturned will be difficult with young Supreme Court justices in the court. During Trump’s presidency, he appointed three Supreme Court Justices. This means that there will most likely be a majority of Supreme Court Justices that oppose abortion during our generation.

According to Ms.Majewski, a government and economics teacher at Anaheim high school, if Roe v. Wade is overturned, there is still hope for this decision to be overturned in the future. “When Roe v. Wade was passed, it created the religious movement in this country; that was the catalyst because they opposed it so much. They spent 50 years attempting to elect legislators and get judges on the bench that will overturn Roe v. Wade, and now they’ve been successful. The question is, will overturning Roe v. Wade now galvanize the pro-choice movement? Will we see that become the focus of the left or the Democratic party? Will they now spend the next 30, 40, 50 years trying to elect and appoint judges that will reinstate Roe v. Wade? I think so; I think it will. I don’t know if it’ll take 50 years to reinstate it, but it’ll take a long time because the judges on the Supreme Court are fairly young, so we can expect that they’ll be on there for 30, 40 more years.”

Women will face severe repercussions from this decision, taking away their control over their bodies. In states with high poverty rates, women will see the most significant effects of the decision. Banning abortion does not reduce the number of women who will have an abortion but will put many women’s lives in danger with dangerous at-home procedures. The internet is full of videos and “tips” or recipes for DIY abortions, leading desperate women who do not have the money to travel to another state for an abortion with no other options but to attempt these hazardous procedures, often costing them their lives or leaving them with lasting effects. Restricting or removing access to safe abortions will only result in increased death tolls for women.

Women’s right to have an abortion is also linked to social mobility. Taking away a women’s right to an abortion will erase years of progress. When women gained the right to have power over their own bodies, they were able to move forward. Giving women the right to have an abortion is an essential component in their economic and psychological well-being, affecting their education and work life.

According to an article published by Equal Times, a study conducted in 2018 interviewed 813 women in the U.S over the course of five years. The study found that women who were denied access to an abortion procedure were more likely to fall into poverty within six months than women who were able to carry out the procedure. Women who were denied access to the procedure were also less likely to have full-time work and became more likely to be forced to depend on public assistance. The study results concluded that women who did not have access to abortion were more likely to face economic difficulties compared to women who had access to abortion and were able to get the procedure. In the end, this will only lead to an increase in economic issues for women.

Abortion is an essential part of a woman’s right to have control over their own body. The reasons for abortion always vary but what doesn’t change is that they are important reasons to preserve a women’s well-being. In some cases, women choose to have an abortion following a traumatic event or a health issue. By denying the right to that abortion, women will be forced to live through an incredibly traumatic experience.

Ms. Majewski shared a personal story on the topic. “My mother, when she was 20, was pregnant, and she fell down a flight of stairs when she was seven months pregnant. The baby died immediately, and they forced her to carry it for two more months, and then she had a stillbirth. It was horrifying for my mother and she still today deals with the traumatic effects of having to carry a dead baby in her womb for two months.”

Denying a woman the right to an abortion when they do not know their struggles and experiences simply because abortion is “bad” is an oversimplification of the process. It is more than just abortion; it helps women in difficult situations and gives them back control over their bodies. It is an essential part of a women’s autonomy and will inevitably send the progress made in women’s rights back if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

Works cited:




https://www.npr.org/2022/05/03/1096097236/roe-wade-original-ruling-leak https://www.equaltimes.org/anti-abortion-laws-a-war-against#.Yn0lc9rMLIU