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My Body, My Choice: Are We Still In 1972?


The infamous court case decision of Roe v Wade, made in 1973, is still a highly controversial topic within our daily society; it has been criticized and questioned since it’s initial decision as well as throughout the recent presidencies of Bush, Obama, and Trump. During Bush’s administration, the drug Cytotec, which prevents stomach ulcers caused by anti-inflammatories, was a popular prescription drug that induced a catalyst of conversation around Roe v Wade. The New York Times covered the notion that abortion might outgrow its need for Roe v Wade in an article written by John LeLand, stating that “If the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, freeing states to ban abortion, this common prescription drug… could emerge as a cheap, relatively safe alternative to the practices that proliferated before Roe” (LeLand). This commendable representation of Roe v Wade is what needs to be acknowledged within this piece. Commonly argued that if the Supreme Court overturns this case then abortion will become illegal, LeLand accurately depicts that in actuality if the case is overturned that it just allows the freedom to states to ban abortion, not that they necessarily will.

The case of Roe v Wade holds three general tiers that tether it all together. The first tier is that until the first trimester, the state cannot intervene; the second is that until the danger of the mother’s health before the second trimester the state cannot intervene; and the final tier is that the state can intercede to protect the life of the fetus following the second trimester (Roe 22-23). Therefore, the protection of the mother and fetus’ life have a timeline in relation to when the states can intervene. Hence, if this court decision were to be overturned it would not ensure that abortion would automatically become illegal; rather, it would allow states the freedom to create laws that make it illegal rather than following the three tier system of when they can or cannot intervene. Abortion itself is, therefore, seen as a right protected under the fourteenth amendment’s due process clause under the Roe v Wade decision (Roe 23) and so if the case is overturned, states would have to create laws that explicitly make it illegal otherwise it would just exist as a medical procedure. However, while the controversy of Roe v Wade is a very heavy topic, the case itself seems to be widely misunderstood by the general public arguing for or against its decision.

Works Cited

LeLand, John. “Abortion Might Outgrow Its Need for Roe v. Wade”. The New York Times. 02

Oct, 2005.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/02/weekinreview/abortion-might-outgrow-its-need-for-roe-v-wade.html

Roe v Wade. 410 US 113. Supreme Court of the US. 1973.

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