EDITORIAL: It is A Woman’s Decision

 A turn in history occurred on Jun. 24 with a 6-3 vote of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning the Roe v. Wade case on abortion rights. 

To us, the overturn of Roe v. Wade impacts women and their rights. Women have always been fighting for their rights when it comes to being treated equally, and now the rights of them being able to choose what happens to their bodies have been impacted by this overturn. With illegal abortions, women could be intentionally forced to have a child.

While there are precious lives at stake, there are different scenarios where women should have a choice to decide whether she has an abortion or not. As an example, a woman who has been sexually assaulted would then not have a choice whether to abort the child or not. The woman could not be in a good spot to have a child (such as financial stability, not able to take care of themselves, the father could not want to be in the picture, etc.).

Almost half a century ago in 1973, Roe v Wade was established to change how states regulated abortion and had abortion characterized under constitutional rights of privacy. 

After the decision was brought to the public, it was published throughout news stations and articles while accelerating social media feeds. 

Now, all states in the country may have abortions either legal (some having specific situations/trimesters), banned, or criminalized. 

The fifty states are divided regarding abortion being legal or illegal, according to a state abortion ban tracker on Healthcare Dive. 

There are 26 states where abortion is legal and 17 states where they are illegal. Seven states have abortion legal but are awaiting a ban as of Aug. 26, 2022, when the site was last updated. 

Since the current overturn of Roe v Wade, women have been told not to track their menstrual cycles on their phones due to collecting women’s data which can be used against them in a state where abortion is illegal.

Some women who also plan to get an abortion have been told not to tell anyone because some states are planning to ban people from traveling out of state to receive one.

Due to some states banning abortion, some patients may have to travel to a nearby state, which could be costly. Some companies have announced that they are expanding some to all coverage of travel expenses. Companies range from Amazon, BuzzFeed, CNN, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Kroger, Starbucks, and many more (37 companies in total according to CBS News). 

Since the overturn, people have thought about how history is repeating itself. Protests were done to fight for or against abortion rights, and now the fight for abortion has begun again. 

For a modern interpretation, the topic of abortion is viewed in the popular well-known film Dirty Dancing. Released in 1987, 14 years after the Roe v. Wade case, the film takes place in 1963 ten years before the case was established. 

While this film is a coming-of-age story for the main character Baby (Jeniffer Grey), this story also focuses on the topic of abortion regarding the character Penny (Cynthia Rhodes) who receives an (at the time) illegal abortion. 

In 2017, screenwriter Elanor Bergstein stated to Cosmopolitan that “the entire plot hinges on one thing: abortion,” (Mic). 

Within the film, Penny was supposed to be at a dance recital with Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze) but had to miss it due to her receiving an abortion after her encounter with Robbie (Max Cantor). 

Penny did not have the money to pay for an abortion and Robbie did not want to take responsibility, so Baby borrowed money from her father (Jerry Orbach) to pay for the abortion. 

“Penny’s abortion, like many in those days, doesn’t go as planned,” (according to website Quartz), “Performed by a ‘doctor’ who operated with a ‘dirty knife and a folding table,’ the procedure leaves Penny both bleeding and yelping in pain.” 

During the abortion, Penny could have died, but that can also happen while giving birth. Women can have complications that could hurt either themselves or the child that they are carrying. Different scenarios can happen and lives are at stake for anyone. 

Opinions have been spread about abortion even before the overturn of Roe v. Wade. While this is a sensitive topic and falls under different beliefs, we think that the woman should have the choice whether she wants to abort the child. Different scenarios could lead the women to this decision and they could cause health issues or even death. Overall, it is her choice regarding what she wants to do with her own body.