Roe v. Wade under siege post-Kennedy

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For the past 46 years, Roe v. Wade has guaranteed women the right to an abortion, but the current makeup of the Supreme Court may put this precedent at risk.
In October 2018, justice Brett Kavanaugh was appointed to the supreme court after justice Kennedy retired. Kennedy had been historically conservative as a justice, though voted more liberally when it came to abortion, joining the Majority rule in Roe v. Wade.
Until his retirement, the Supreme Court was reliably in favor of abortion rights, keeping a 5-4 majority in most cases. With this change in the court comes the possibility for Roe v Wade to be overturned.
While the precedent can’t just be overturned at the desire of the justices, cases concerning rights outlined in Roe v. Wade allow for justices to reexamine the ruling.
One recent case was that of an Ohio bill that bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, making it more difficult for women to get abortions.
This law is in partial contradiction with Roe v. Wade, so while it would be difficult to take effect, it allows the Supreme court to reexamine Roe v. Wade and potentially overturn it.
This can be a difficult thought for some. Senior Keara McLaughlin said, “As someone who is pro-choice, the fact that republican men want to legislate my body, is very distressing and wrong.”
In terms of likelihood, senior Will Thornton said, “I think that Roe v. Wade is so crucial precedent wise that I don’t think it will be overturned, even with the most conservative of justices.”
While abortion is generally discussed on a moral basis, it is a topic with many nuances that contribute to the debate, one of which is the question of potential-parents being ready to have children.
Junior Maddie Jednorowicz said, “I don’t think [Roe v. Wade] should be overturned because the law allows for people of all different privileges, especially those who don’t have the capability to care for a child, a choice to decide what is best for their future.”
Another aspect of abortion is the question of safety of women and how overturning the precedent may affect that. Women may turn to unsafe methods to carry out an abortion if they are unable to safely and legally get one.
McLaughlin added, “If it were to be overturned there would be a lot of dangers to the health of women everywhere.”
Though less prominent within the conversation surrounding abortion, senior Will Embree brought up the question of how a change in precedent may affect the world at large.
“On a moral and personal level, I am pro-life, but on a national scale I believe that abortion should be legal because it is beneficial to the world’s overpopulation crisis and will augment the fight against scarcity of resources,” said Embree.
Another complexity is when a survivor of sexual assault becomes pregnant. The current law pertaining to such situations exempts survivors of ‘forcible rape’ from other abortion laws.
With minimal laws protecting and considering pregnant survivors of sexual assault, the overturning of Roe v. Wade would likely complicate this matter further.
No matter how complicated or controversial this topic may be among the American public, it is now up to the Supreme Court to either uphold or overturn their precedent if given the chance. How they will decide is unclear, and it will only be determined with time.

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