Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve certainly heard by now that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe V. Wade, the historic court ruling that made abortion legal throughout the United States in 1973. The implications of overturning Roe are far-reaching, and do not solely affect women. The direct and indirect effects of this ruling will be felt by all.
Many people feel that making abortion illegal, or very restricted, is about saving babies. However, what they aren’t considering is children who are already born who will be affected by this ruling in states where pregnant people are unable to access abortion.
Already-struggling parents will be faced with the choice of supporting a new child, or having an illegal abortion. “They can just travel to a state where abortion is legal,” you may say. However, for some families, this can mean lost wages, expensive flights, hotel stays, and more. This is made worse in states where abortion is completely illegal that bans abortion after six weeks (a point at which some women are not even aware they are pregnant), people whose pregnancy puts their lives at risk may be unable to abort. This could potentially leave children without their parent.
I’ve often heard the argument that if people would only use birth control, they wouldn’t have to get an abortion. This is patently false. Birth control is not perfect, and according to the Guttmacher Institute, about half of abortions occur after a reported birth control failure.
I am not even going to entertain the idea that people who don’t want a child shouldn’t be having sex, because it is in my opinion so absurd. Even most married couples these days choose to limit how many children they have, and the idea that when they’re done having children they should be done having sex is preposterous.
It’s also important to note that other rights may now be on the chopping block. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas states that “we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell,” referring rulings that guaranteed the right to contraception and same-sex marriage rights. This means the Supreme Court could, potentially, allow some states to outlaw contraception and marriage equality.
Even if you identify yourself as pro-life, you must consider the potential indirect consequences of the Roe decision. Your very right to self-determination may depend on it.
Kimberly Adamski is a Sex Educator in West Hartford.