The leak of the Roe v Wade opinion project caused an uproar. Members of the COD community, from political science professors to pro-choice and pro-life activists, have spoken out on the hot topic.
Discussions of broken institutions, government involvement in women’s ability to choose and conversations about when a fetus is considered human life gripped the country after a draft Supreme Court opinion aired on May 2, revealing that the Supreme Court may overturn Roe v. Wade precedent who made abortion a federally protected right in 1973.
Melissa Mouritsen, professor of political science at the College of DuPage, said the decision came from judges who are not representative of the American people.
“Five of the nine justices currently sitting were nominated by Electoral College-appointed presidents, who were elected not by popular vote (but) by George W. Bush and by Donald Trump,” Mouritsen said. “We have a Supreme Court majority that is going to make this decision to overrule Roe who was not even chosen by the majority of the American people.”
Mouritsen said it’s time for Congress to enact legislation that protects reproductive rights similar to the Roe decision.
“I agree with this ruling that it should be up to the legislature. The founding fathers wanted the legislature to be the one to do this stuff, and it should be,” Mouritsen said. “They need to pass a law that makes it legal, do what the court ruling did, and stop relying on the court.”
the American Association of University Women (AAUW) advocates for a variety of policy issues. Former AAUW Public Policy Chair Shoshanna Frank found the language of the leaked opinion distressing.
“A lot of times abortions are honestly not a choice. They’re a medical necessity,” Frank said. the pregnant person and their health care provider End of story.
“Often times people who seek this type of medical help don’t necessarily have the funds or even their own health care, or even if they have health care coverage, that doesn’t necessarily mean that this type of procedure would be covered by their plan,” Franck said. “Taking away these rights is an effort to control the bodies of women and people who can get pregnant and limit access to vital health care, and this is especially true for people who are black, brown, LGBTQIA+ or living in poverty.
Frank said the AAUW has created a toolkit for people looking for ways to take action.
“If people are looking for action or don’t know how they can make their voices heard, urging their senators to support the Women’s Health Protection Act is a vital next step,” Frank continued. “You can also write letters to the editor, participate in community forums, talk to your elected officials.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced that the Senate will vote on the Women’s Health Protection Act Wednesday.
Frank said part of the solution is to increase the comfort level people feel in sharing their experiences and having real conversations about reproductive health. She encourages students to engage in these conversations with friends, family and on social media.
“The other really important aspect for abortion access and reproductive justice as a whole is de-stigmatizing the issue,” Frank said. “Another important way to reduce the stigma around what is ultimately a health care decision is to talk about it publicly. Until we are able to have these kinds of conversations on an informal level and with our friends and family in comfortable ways, we are going to continue to have these kinds of attacks on health care in the future.
Eric Scheidler, Group Executive Director Pro-Life Action League said this issue should be decided by state legislatures.
“(Supreme Court Justice) Samuel Alito made a deeply compelling argument that Roe was wrongly, clumsily and almost incompetently decided in the first place. When Alito says there is no constitutional right to abortion, he is not saying there is no right to abortion,” Scheidler said.
Scheidler said this issue makes many people, including himself, single-cause voters.
“If that is the decision we get, your state’s elected officials can pass policies, laws that reflect the wishes of the people of that state on the issue of abortion. It is a victory for democracy. Pro-lifers and pro-choicers said Roe v. Wade looked more like an act of Congress than a judicial decision. Let us legislate rather than be dictated by the Supreme Court. I think it will be very good for our overall politics going forward not to see this issue create so much polarization,” Scheidler said.
“I don’t want to sound like I’m just a dandy with any abortion policy, as long as it’s determined by a democratic process, but that’s way better than having it made by the authority of a court. I want a chance to fight for good pro-life laws across the country, and that’s what Dobbs v. Jackson allows us to do that,” Scheidler said.
“Let’s remove these barriers that keep people from having the freedom of choice they really want. Having another child, having more flexibility in the workplace, having parental leave, having decent healthcare so it doesn’t become a reason to abort a baby or suffer at all. I don’t know what the policy answers are and how we implement these kinds of things, but I want to have these kinds of conversations,” Scheidler said.
A number of states have trigger laws set to go into effect, with other states expected to increase restrictions. States like Illinois are safe haven states that expect an increase in medical tourism.
Maureen Brocks-Hussain, a family planning clinician with Planned Parenthood of IL, says she’s ready for a surge in patients.
“At Planned Parenthood of Illinois, we are poised to see between double and five times the number of patients we see now, many of whom will be traveling from other states where there will be abortion restrictions or bans,” said said Brocks-Hussein.
“It is not a surprise, and therefore the organization has taken steps to deal with this anticipated increase in the number of abortion patients.”
Those who wish to become more involved in this issue can contact their elected representatives at the local, state and federal levels.
Those who are pro-choice and want to get involved or donate to groups associated with this position can donate to the Chicago Abortion Fundor Planned parenthood.
Those who are pro-life and want to join or donate to groups associated with this position can donate to the Waterleaf Women’s Center or the Support network.