Following Politico’s publication of a leaked document from the United States Supreme Court, noting its intentions to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade case, the controversy has been loud. However, the voices being amplified, such as those of the courts, are largely voices that hold little to no stake in the issue; they are not women, and they are not people with a uterus. This week on Surly Voices, the Surly Fems hand the microphone to those with a voice at stake, allowing them to share their thoughts and opinions on the news.
Listen to the full episode here:
Basics: Roe v. Wade and the Leaked Document
The final ruling of Roe v. Wade was issued in 1973, deciding that “Inherent in the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment is a fundamental ‘right to privacy’ that protects a pregnant woman’s choice whether to have an abortion.” Effectively, the ruling became the law of the land; abortion was legal, and it was not the business of the legislature to intervene with such personal affairs.
Though attempts have been made to codify the ruling into official federal law, no such laws have been passed.
On Monday, POLITICO accessed an initial draft majority opinion from the Supreme Court, which “unflinchingly” voted to strike down the ruling, with Justice Samuel Alito claiming “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start”.
The Voices at Stake
The Surly Fems spoke to many callers expressing their views on the issue. The general consensus: those without a uterus cannot and should not be making decisions for those with one. The overturning of Roe v. Wade would not only be terribly regressive for society, but it would disproportionately impact lower-income people and people of color. In America. The maternal mortality rate for black women is twice as high as that for Hispanic women, and almost three times higher than for white women.
As callers pointed out, the overturn of Roe v. Wade would not stop abortions altogether, it would only stop safe abortions, and would continue to negatively impact the maternal mortality rate, specifically for those marginalized groups who lack access to travel for abortions or related healthcare.
Another consensus among callers was the lack of faith and growing disappointment in the Democratic Party. For a party that has sworn to protect these rights and continue to fight for them, their actions to codify Roe v. Wade into law and end the arguments once and for all have either been absent or lacking. And at times, it felt like the Democrats were only interested in fighting for the issue when it was on the brink of collapse.
A number of courageous callers shared their moving, intimate personal experiences with abortion, pregnancy, and the issue at hand. One caller spoke strongly on the issue, stating:
“This decision is only capable of being made by the pregnant person!”
This is the true story at stake: The pregnant person is bearing the weight of the decision, and the lawmakers trying to control the bodies of these people do not know, and will never know the emotional toll that these decisions take. No matter what the decision is, the person doesn’t forget. Whether it’s abortion, Plan B, or having to carry a child and give them up for adoption.
They never forget that feeling, and those are emotions the lawmakers without a uterus will NEVER know.