Regulations and History of Abortions

The topic of abortion has been a divisive topic of conversation in this country with recent developments including the overturning of Roe v. Wade and state-by-state bans dominating the news cycles.

The fight for women’s reproductive rights has been going on for decades. By 1910 abortion was banned throughout the U.S, but as women’s liberation movements gained traction in the 1960s, abortion law reforms were implemented in 11 states. Few years later in 1973 the right to access abortion all over the U.S was established by the Supreme Court with Roe v. Wade. For nearly 50 years abortion was recognized and considered a constitutional right. When Roe v Wade was overturned, women lost the right to an abortion on a federal level, which states took advantage of and now 18 states have banned or restricted abortion severely while other states are working to ban it as well. 

The White House’s response to this has been swift and meaningful. Vice President Kamala Harris will go on a reproductive freedoms tour starting in Wisconsin in January. The primary focus on this year’s election is abortion because of the belief that it will be crucial to making voters vote. This tour will start in Wisconsin on January 22, 2024, which is the 51st anniversary of the Roe v Wade decision. Harris’ tour is a direct reflection of her dedication to women and their reproductive rights. She intends to talk about real women’s stories and the challenges they now face because of the Supreme Court ruling. Her tour will also express the harm that is being brought to those affected in the hopes that it will resonate with voters. President Joe Biden also posted his response criticizing the decision made by the Supreme Court. He states “Now, with Roe gone, let’s be very clear: The health and life of women in this nation are now at risk.” Biden speaking out about the inhumane treatment of women’s reproductive rights shows the severity of the situation at hand. He goes on to talk about the negative effects this ruling will have on women all over America. The leaders of our country are working to reverse the effects of the overturn of Roe v Wade.

As Democrats strive to bring focus to the issues, real women are dealing with the fall out all over the country. In recent months women have been persecuted for having miscarriages or out of state abortions. CNN published a story about a 33 year old Ohio woman named Brittany Watts, who requested treatment at a hospital before experiencing a miscarriage in her bathroom. She is now is facing a felony charge of abusing a corpse. Another article, published by The New York Times, talks about the increase of women buying abortion pills.  Thousands of women are ordering abortion pills without being pregnant because they fear their access to it will be heavily restricted or gone in the future. The act of doing this is called “advanced provision” and this has increased exponentially after the overturning of Roe v Wade. In the article, Dr. Abigail Aiken states “Before May 2022, when a draft of the Supreme Court decision was leaked, Aid Access had received about 6,000 advance provision requests, averaging 25 per day. Since then, it has received over 42,000 requests, averaging 118 per day.” This reinforces the real struggle and provision women now have to take because of this overturn by the Supreme Court. This struggle will continue to fall on women as long as things stay the way they are now.

Abortion will remain a major issue within politics and people’s lives, and measures (and questions) are slated to be on the ballot in seven states. Abortion will potentially be on the legislative agenda beginning in January or February, which is when they are scheduled for session to begin. Though no abortion related bills have been filed yet by the Legislative branch,  the upcoming election will be a pivotal point for women and their rights.  

Emma Vasquez