Angélica Escobar
Editor-in-Chief

Once again, reproductive rights are up for debate. On May 2, Politico published a leaked draft of a Supreme Court opinion that could overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision to legalize abortions in all 50 states. This draft was initially written by Justice Samuel Alito back in February 2022 with the intent of reversing Roe v. Wade and other Supreme Court decisions, such as the 1992 decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. This gave the right to privacy when seeking an abortion.

This draft is one of the scariest things to happen this year, as the right to my own body is up for discussion. Although this happens repeatedly on a surface level, this time, there is an actual draft that can strip the right to a private and safe abortion away. The draft created by Justice Alito is absolutely disgusting. No man should make a decision on what someone with a uterus can and cannot do with their bodies — ever!

No one knows who leaked the document created by Justice Alito. What we do know is that the leak displayed how much our political system has shifted, especially in the Supreme Court. Ever since Ruth Bader Ginsburg died, talks of stripping reproduction rights away have been on the table — meaning this has been in the talks for almost two years. With RBG gone, and Justice Amy Coney Barrett in, a majority of the Supreme Court is now conservative — with six Republican justices, and only three Democratic justices (not including Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, as she will be sworn in later this year). Nonetheless, those who believe in the choice to do whatever they want with their bodies are outnumbered by the hypocrites that make up the conservative party.

This draft created by Justice Alito is appalling and displays how men in power will do anything to control those who bear a uterus. If those on the Supreme Court were so concerned about life, they would have done something about gun control a long time ago. School shootings happen regularly in the United States, after all. In 2021, there were about 34 school shootings, with 21 of them happening after August of 2021 — when schools went back in person after COVID-19. This year, there have been 55 school shootings resulting in eight deaths and 31 injuries. This is a highly alarming number, and if the conservative majority on the Supreme Court really cared about life, they would have drafted a document that goes against gun violence in this country long before one that eliminates abortion rights. This is just one example of the conservative justices being hypocritical in their rulings.

In January 2022, the Supreme Court struck down a Biden administration mandate that would make large businesses require their employees to either be vaccinated or tested once a week for the coronavirus. The ruling was six to three, which is oddly similar to how many conservative and liberal justices we have on the Supreme Court today. What’s funny is that these are the same people who are pro-life . . . until it comes to their own bodies. All of a sudden, they are pro-choice when it comes to a vaccine that was created by science with the intention of saving millions of people’s lives, which is something pro-lifers are obsessed with. But, when it comes to what I want to do with my body, it’s a big deal. Pro-lifers only care about life at conception and not actual life itself. As Justice Alito said about his draft, abortion is “egregiously wrong.” I say the exact same thing about him, as he believes in stripping away reproductive rights, but willingly advocates for choice when it comes to vaccines. The Supreme Court is full of “pro-lifer” hypocrites.

With Roe v. Wade in the talks of being dismantled, Republican states have started talking about passing laws that have extremist pro-life ideologies behind them. In Louisiana, they have advanced a bill that would classify abortions as homicides in the state. This would allow prosecutors to charge those who perform and have abortions with murder. Not to mention, this state already has a trigger law in place that would immediately ban abortions if Roe v. Wade is overturned. Many other states have followed Louisiana with the insane abortion bans and laws that have ridiculous consequences: lengthy prison sentences for providers, suspending physicians’ medical licenses, and sizable fines on people who perform abortions. Basically, Republican lawmakers are ready to criminalize abortions by banning them. If Justice Alito’s draft is anything close to the Supreme Court opinion that gets passed fundamentally, “it’s going to give state legislatures carte blanche to restrict, ban abortion in all sorts of different ways,” said David S. Cohen, a law professor at Drexel University’s Kline School of Law. So, the insane abortion bans and laws are something we as a society — unfortunately — need to be prepared for.

The true weight of this situation does not carry over to society; most don’t seem to realize how scary it is to have abortion rights taken away. Ultimately, it isn’t just abortion rights; that’s surface-level. This is about being controlled and having safe reproductive care taken away. About 46.9 million of the 72.2 million women aged 15 to 49 in the United States use some form of birth control. According to Justice Alito’s draft, there is no right to privacy when it comes to abortions, thus putting other Supreme Court decisions at stake such as Griswold v. Connecticut, which gave the right to privacy and legalized birth control to married couples. This was decided in 1965 but now stands for every person. Not only is the right to an abortion at stake, but so is the right to birth control. Many pro-lifers’ birth control is considered abortion, as it stops conception or life from forming. This is completely wrong, first of all — but, then again, the average pro-lifer does not believe in science, so the ban against birth control makes sense in their eyes.

Birth control’s overall job is to stop ovulation and fertilization from happening; birth control does not act as a form of abortion, as they are a safety net to prevent abortion. Also, birth control is necessary, in many cases, for medical reasons. Even then, it’s no one’s business as to why people are on birth control. What I do with my body is my own choice, whether or not I choose to have an abortion or take some type of birth control is my choice as it only affects me, no one else. This goes for all people.

Multiple Whittier College students agree that no politician, let alone a man, should have a say in what people do with their bodies. Third-year Melina Martinez said, “Abortion is reproductive health care. It shouldn’t be taken away. I should have a say in what happens to my body. No one else.” First-year Austin Dale agrees with Martinez: “No politician should have a say in what happens to women’s bodies. It’s their choice.”

In the end, banning abortions isn’t about protecting life; it’s about control and misogyny. Having reproductive freedom prevents men from having the ability to control those who have a uterus. Conservatives hide behind the term ‘pro-life’ in order to camouflage their deep-rooted misogyny. We hear conservatives talk about how life begins at conception, and that the zygote or fetus needs to be protected because they have a life, a heartbeat, or whatever other excuses they use to prevent abortion from happening. It has been proven that once the child is born, pro-lifers genuinely do not care what happens to that child. These are the same people who are unwilling to expand Medicare coverage or are unable to protect children that are already living.

The reversal of Roe v. Wade will only stop safe abortions from happening and will end up costing many lives. But, the pro-lifers and conservatives on the Supreme Court do not care because a zygote was saved at the end — not an actual, living human being. As Justice Barrett said in response to the pro-choice movement, “why don’t the safe-haven laws take care of that problem?” A majority of the children who are taken under the safe-haven laws end up in foster care. This is not a solution; it is a band aid for the bigger problem — forcing people to carry a pregnancy they do not want.

Abortions are health care, and should be treated as such; no matter the case of abortion, everyone deserves access to one. The most ironic part about this is the fact I’m writing about abortion and contraception bans on Mother’s Day weekend. What better way to honor mothers than to ensure that motherhood is an intentional and deliberate choice.

Featured Photo: Courtesy of Olivier Douliery / Getty Images

Author

  • Angélica Escobar has just started working for the Quaker Campus for the 2020-21 academic year, and is currently a copy writer. She enjoys writing about politics, opinions, and arts and culture.

Angélica Escobar has just started working for the Quaker Campus for the 2020-21 academic year, and is currently a copy writer. She enjoys writing about politics, opinions, and arts and culture.

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