As an organization dedicated to educating others on societal issues and improving humanity, we wanted to cover the recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Given the rise of social media as a form of obtaining news and information, echo chambers can form that often lead to misinformation or not comprehensive information. With this in mind, we felt it was necessary to provide an unbiased, informative recount of the events leading up to the recent decision, along with possible implications.
Roe v. Wade (1973) was a landmark case that established a Constitutional protection for the right to have an abortion. Even though this granted a federal protection of a right to abortion, states were still able to regulate abortions, such as those occurring in the second and third trimester.
The case originated in 1969 when a Texas woman, Norma McCorvey (she would later come to be known as “Jane Roe”), wanted to terminate a pregnancy but lacked the resources to travel for an abortion or illegally pay for one. She met with two attorneys who were planning on building a case against anti-abortion laws in Texas, and the case eventually made it to the Supreme Court. The decision was 7-2 in favor of Roe, with reasoning that the First, Fourth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments provide “zones of privacy” for citizens with regard to issues such as marriage and contraception, and these zones of privacy can include the right to determine whether to have an abortion or not.
In 1992, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in Planned Parenthood v. Casey to re-affirm the general principles of Roe v. Wade (abortions could not be banned before fetal viability, which is around 23 weeks); however, they allowed states to add additional restrictions to abortions if they weren’t excessive.
Dobbs v. Jackson was a case heard by the Supreme Court on December 1, 2021, regarding a challenge brought up by the Jackson Women’s Health Organization against the “Gestational Age Act,” which prohibited abortions after the 15th week except in certain circumstances. On June 26, 2022, the decision for Dobbs was released in a 6-3 to uphold Mississippi’s abortion law, and the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to overturn Roe v. Wade, claiming that the Constitution makes no explicit reference to abortion, so the Supreme Court should not impede on states’ rights.
Earlier in May 2022, a draft opinion showing Justice Samuel Alito’s reasoning, which would be similar to the actual decision in June, had been leaked to Politico.
There is well documented scientific and academic evidence regarding the consequences of denying women access to abortions:
- The Turnaway study showed that women denied an abortion were more likely to be in poverty and lack the resources, expenses, and time to take care of a child.
- The decision to revoke abortion protections will disproportionately impact marginalized communities, including those that are people of color or impoverished.
- A large surge of women will likely travel to states with abortion protections to receive abortions, which may put a strain on clinics and centers that are not prepared to handle such high demand.
- Criminalization of abortion will not only affect those seeking to terminate their pregnancies but also all who are pregnant, due to an increased level of surveillance and prosecution.
Another major consequence of revoking abortion protections is the increased incidence of abortions without clinical oversight. Those seeking to self-manage an abortion may resort to procedures that are unsafe, such as the widely known “coat hanger” method. However, informing women on reproductive health and generally safe forms of abortion, such as through medications, could decrease the number of unsafe practices.
Regarding the political implications of the recent decisions, many have cited that the overturning of Roe v. Wade could open the opportunity to reconsider other cases that have granted rights such as those concerning same-sex marriage and contraception. With support for abortion at an all-time high, it will likely play an important role in the upcoming midterm elections.
Overall, although the decision will mean the revoking of a sweeping national protection on abortion, it does not mean abortion in all states will be prohibited or restricted. View the map below for more information on abortion access for each state.
13 states essentially have trigger laws, which means a ban on abortion will take almost immediate effect after the decision to turnover Roe v. Wade, and other states have different levels of restrictions that may vary. However, 40 million women of reproductive age live in states “hostile” to abortion; given that almost 1 in 4 women are predicted to receive an abortion at some point in their life, the Supreme Court decision will impact many women across the country, as well as their families, communities, and the nation.
 Cabianca, Paige et al. “What Is a Social Media Echo Chamber?” Stan Richards School of Advertising, https://advertising.utexas.edu/news/what-social-media-echo-chamber#:~:text=A%20social%20media%20echo%20chamber%20is%20when%20one%20experiences%20a,comfortable%2C%20self%2Dconfirming%20feed.
 Lanese, Nicoletta. “Roe v. Wade: Facts about the landmark case.” Live Science, 03 May 2022, https://www.livescience.com/roe-v-wade-explanation.
 Liptak, Adam. “What did Planned Parenthood v. Casey say?” New York Times, 24 June 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/24/us/parenthood-casey-abortion-ruling.html.
 See 2.
 “Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.” Ballotpedia, https://ballotpedia.org/Dobbs_v._Jackson_Women%E2%80%99s_Health_Organization.
 Lenharo, Mariana. “After Roe v. Wade, US researchers warn of what’s to come.” Nature, 24 June 2022, https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-01775-z#ref-CR2.
 Larson, Erik, and Emma Kinery. “Clarence Thomas Opinion Signals Same-Sex Marriage, Contraception at Risk After Abortion Ruling.” Bloomberg, 24 June 2022, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-06-24/supreme-court-justices-disagree-on-scope-of-dobbs-ruling.
 Murray, Mark. “Support for abortion rights hits new high as midterm outlook is grim for Democrats.” NBC News, 15 May 2022, https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2022-election/support-abortion-rights-hits-new-high-midterm-outlook-stays-mostly-unc-rcna28869.
 Hernandez, Joe. “Here’s what could happen now that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade.” NPR, 24 June 2022, https://www.npr.org/2022/05/03/1096094942/roe-wade-overturned-what-happens-next.