By Gisselle Penuela Solis
I am Gisselle Penuela Solis, a senior in high school, and a woman. I should have the same rights as every classmate sitting next to me. But as of June 24. 2022, my right to choose to have an abortion or not is no longer protected by the United States Constitution. The Supreme Court was made up of three women and six men at the time, who were appointed to make sure that all Americans experience equal justice under the law. By 2020, the Supreme Court became much more conservative with 6 conservative justices, recently two men and one woman who were a part of this overturn were appointed by Trump (who wants to take some credit for the overturn of Roe. v Wade) The decision ended 5-4, overturning Roe. v Wade.
To the five conservatives who voted against my rights: Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Amy Coney Barrett; I hope you know all the lives put at risk, all the children you will have put into a faulty adoption/foster system and all the women you have angered by taking away their choice.
But what is Roe v. Wade? Why is it such a big deal?
Roe. v Wade is a legal case surrounding the regulation of abortion. On Jan. 22. 1973, the Supreme Court sided with “Jane Roe” and decided that the Constitution does protect a pregnant woman’s right to have an abortion. Looking into the case, the law in Texas only allowed pregnant women to have an abortion if it was a life-threatening situation for the mother. When Roe (a fictional name to protect her identity in court), a single mother found out she was pregnant with her third child, she tried making false claims to be able to receive the procedure. She was denied the right to an abortion. Ultimately, she asked for help from Linda Coffee and Sarah Weddington who helped file a claim for “Jane Roe.” Roe filed a lawsuit against Henry Wade, the district attorney of Dallas County, Texas. Her claims consisted of her challenging the Texas law on illegal abortions, she claimed that the law unconstitutionally went against her right to personal privacy which was protected by the First, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments. The Supreme Court (all men at the time) voted 7-2 that the Due Process Clause of the Fourth Amendment contains the right to privacy, which allowed pregnant women in their first and second trimesters the right to be able to have an abortion if they choose. In the third trimester, the state is allowed to impose regulations or even deny abortion (except for life-threatening situations) regarding the state of the fetus.
Fast forward to June 2. 2022 – abortion has become a hot-button issue, with both political parties arguing about the right to abortion. The left side of the political spectrum has advocated for all women, expressing the idea of “My Body, My Choice.” On the other hand, the right has preached for the fetus, citing that it is a separate life and ultimately not the mother’s decision. While conservatives celebrated the overturn of Roe v. Wade, there were multiple protests around the United States organized by Democrats. There were multiple protests around Redwood City, remarkably in San Francisco, protesters went onto the intersection of Market and 8th some blocked traffic, and were prepared for the risk of arrest. This issue is a deeply serious one for many, to the point where they risked being arrested and thrown in jail.
I remember watching the news in complete disbelief that my right to have a choice over my body was being taken away. The idea that our Supreme Court is willing and able to take away this kind of constitutional right and then allow them to reference other cases to overturn that would take away rights from so many different people that have fought for them is completely terrifying. Justice Clarence Thomas (arguably the most conservative of all the justices), expressed intent to potentially revisit the issue of gay marriage, another right that may be taken away from a marginalized community in the future.
My main argument against the overturn of Roe v. Wade is the supposed reason for it, the fetus. If the fetus was so important to Conservatives, why aren’t the foster, adoption, and child care systems being helped or repaired? There are so many issues in every system regarding the development of children, how are we expected to have children but not take care of them once they are birthed? Aside from the systems, this year and many, many years before, we have had multiple horrific examples of school shootings. If Conservatives care so much about the life of what they claim to be a child, where are the gun laws to protect them at school? Where is all the funding to help all the broken systems surrounding child development and need? Just like women don’t have a choice, these children didn’t choose to be shot down, put into abusive homes, or used for a check.
I am more than disappointed in our Supreme Court. Their lack of judgment for all women is something that has put a lot of women in very real danger, and will likely end in dead mothers and dead fetuses. This decision is a concentrated dose of the unfair and harsh reality that we have to continuously fight for our rights and educate ourselves regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, gender, or sexuality. This specific issue might not be important to you, but it is setting a present basis for the rollback of other human rights. If the trajectory of the court’s rulings does not change, all of our rights could continue to be “revisited.” I am a woman, I have a uterus, and I should have the right to choose what I want to do with cells that grow inside of my own body.
To the five judges who voted against my choice: Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Amy Coney Barrett, you have put lives at risk, you have invalidated the women in our country, and you are teaching younger generations that we can’t choose over our own bodies. Your faulty decision will cost the lives of many, and your contempt is an utter disgrace to this country.
Gisselle Penuela Solis
FEATURED IMAGE: “My Supreme Court” PHOTO CREDIT: Gisselle Penuela Solis