Opinion: Don’t Overturn Roe v. Wade, Leave History Alone


Media by Rue Siddiqui (she/her)

Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, and has served as a landmark case with an important precedent since.

In 1973, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled that the Constitution protects the liberty of pregnant women to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction in the case of Roe v. Wade

Now, on Wednesday, Dec. 1, a case challenging the landmark Roe v. Wade decision was presented before the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). 

Over the past 48 years, the case has been used as precedent for a plethora of cases concerning abortion. For the most part, it has been upheld. 

Laws like the Texas Heartbeat Act (Senate Bill 8), which bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, bring Roe v. Wade back into the limelight. SCOTUS was given the case of a Mississippi law that would ban all abortions after 15 weeks. As of Wednesday, the court seemed certain to uphold the Mississippi Law. 

These controversial bills have questioned the original Roe v. Wade decision and created the possibility of it being overturned. According to Amy Howe, independent news analyst on SCOTUS, Chief justice John Roberts is leaning toward a compromise potentially by moving up the viability line or the time frame in which abortions can be legal. However, justice Sonia Sotomayor argued that the precedent holds weight. 

Though a compromise is being sought out, the four conservative-leaning justices on the court are leaning toward overturning Roe v. Wade. 

Senate Bill 8 and the Mississippi law were already causes for outrage for women around the nation; however, the idea of Roe v. Wade being overturned astonishes me. 

Not only does Roe v. Wade establish abortion as a constitutional right, but it has protected women from being medically restricted for decades. Abortion isn’t the mere “killing of babies;” it is a medical procedure. Banning abortions would simply eradicate safe abortion procedures, not necessarily stop the act altogether. 

As a young woman, the possibility of a safe medical procedure being banned for me is terrifying. I would hate to be in a dire situation and not have access to something that could make my circumstances better.

The Roe v. Wade decision was established for a reason, and I don’t see the point in overturning it. Revoking this precedent opens up Pandora’s box of getting rid of other precedents. 

What if one day Brown v. The Board of Education was overturned? We would have segregated schools. 

What if one day Engel v. Vitale was overturned? We would not have the same amount of religious freedom. It simply doesn’t make sense to erase such a quintessential decision. 

I’m not alone in my feelings either. According to Pew Research Center, seven-in-ten say they do not want to see Roe v. Wade decision completely overturned.

The right to a woman’s body should solely be hers, and the overturning of Roe v. Wade would, by textbook definition, be a violation of that right. 

Though the abortion debate is one I don’t see going away anytime soon, overturning this case will only add fuel to the fire. Since the Roe v. Wade decision has worked in favor of women in America for the past 48 years, we need to keep it. Leave history alone.