7.7
June 25, 2022

The Devastating Impact of Overturning Roe v. Wade.

*Editor’s Note: Elephant Journal articles represent the personal views of the authors, and can not possibly reflect Elephant Journal as a whole. Disagree with an Op-Ed or opinion? We’re happy to share your experience here.

~

I had a beautiful day yesterday.

It was sunny and hot and I spent a lot of time outside. It felt like a holiday or vacation!

Then, last night, as I opened my computer to get some more work done, I glanced at my phone and saw that Roe v. Wade had been overturned.

I felt something in me sink although I knew that this would happen (because of the leak from May).

I closed the case on my phone without reading further.

A little while later, I got tears in my eyes.

I come from a generation that has always taken so many of these things—voting, abortion rights, and so on—for granted. I just feel from within me that it’s obvious that we have them, that we should have them. And we have had them for my entire life.

So, it’s a strange thing to have this happen—to see that our rights aren’t our rights, that what we assumed would always exist for us (despite the continuous opposition) won’t.

Mostly, last night I just felt sad. I was infuriated in May when everything leaked, but last night I felt sad.

It’s actually unconscionable for me that people feel they have a right to make a law like this—over what someone can do with her own body.

A lot of pro-lifers will talk about God and religion—and while this may be a genuine belief of many Christians, it’s also a deluded, disconnected excuse for many people. Those conservative justices and politicians and some of those who are the most loudly vocal in support of “God” and “life” do not live by the same “ideals” they’re preaching. This isn’t spirituality.

This isn’t about God or life or spirituality.

This is about power and control.

There are many things I do not like about the United States. I am not a blind nationalist or a blanket supporter. If anything, my relationship with the country is complicated because I see a lot of bad things that happen in the U.S., a lot of things that are wrong, and I think other countries do some things better.

The first time I genuinely felt proud to be an American was when Obama was elected as president. It was my first election where I could vote. I was in college at the time and he was like a celebrity on campus. I watched the election results that night with a close friend and we hugged and were so elated when he won.

It felt like the country had finally broken through something—that it was finally open.

Of course, we know what happened after—with the white nationalist, racist parts that unleashed themselves.

I am sad and angry and scared.

At 34, I am at the place now where if I were to get pregnant by the person I love, I would keep the baby. But I have thought at times since this decision was leaked about what it could mean for me if I were to get pregnant and have something go wrong, if the pregnancy wasn’t viable for some reason, or if my life was in danger. Would I be forced to carry through with the pregnancy? This made me feel horrified. It’s inhumane.

The truth is that I am one of the privileged, so I could go to another state or even another country. I know this, and I am well-aware that this is not the case for the majority of women in the United States.

For most, it just isn’t possible.

In Texas, there are laws that outlaw abortion even in the case of incest or rape.

This is disgusting.

If anyone who claims to be “pro-life” was actually pro-life—they’d support stricter gun laws, and they would want to heavily invest in social safety nets that help the poorest and most vulnerable among us (also something Jesus would have wanted), but instead they seek to cut these programs.

I don’t know anyone who is “pro-abortion.” Pro-choice is about a woman having the right to choose what happens to her own body; it’s about making medical decisions for herself.

For people who claim to be all about “individual liberty”—how can you get more individual than this?

This should be an individual decision. If you are pro-life and do not want an abortion—don’t get one. But your beliefs shouldn’t determine what I (or any other woman) can do with our bodies.

To be honest, I’m also scared for gay rights and other rights that are now under threat.

When I was 17 or 18 and a senior in high school, I wrote an essay in support of gay marriage. I come from a small, conservative town, so my opinion was in the minority.

I tied for first place with that essay.

What I didn’t know until afterward was that before they would give me first place, they first called my dad and asked permission to do so because his business could be negatively impacted.

Of course, my dad said, yes! For my entire life, he’s always been vocal in his (Democratic-leaning) politics and still writes letters to the editor.

At the time, I was baffled—I honestly couldn’t understand why my essay could have been such a big deal; I was just writing about something I believed in.

Years later, when gay marriage passed, all I could think was, “It’s about time!”

A huge problem we have in America is that a large percentage of people do not even vote.

I genuinely feel that the majority of people in the country would support the Democratic stance on Medicare, Medicade, healthcare, women’s rights, gay rights, and more.

But almost half of the country doesn’t vote.

That is a huge problem.

Voting is one of the most important rights that we have—and it is a right that is currently under threat in many parts of the country.

The conservatives in power—the politicians and justices—and the vocal minority do not actually represent the people or where the country will one day go. Most of the people in the country feel abortion should be legal and an even higher percentage support same-sex marriage.

This decision to overturn Roe v. Wade is devastating for us, and honestly, embarrassing—but one day, people will look back at the history books and wonder how this could ever happen, because it will be so obvious, so natural that so many of the things we’re still fighting for should be natural, basic rights.

They will be embedded parts of the fabric of society.

This is where the country is going.

Unfortunately, I may not live to see this now, and that is sad.

But it will happen.

For now, I hope that people in this country wake up—and actually vote.

~

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