On June 24, 2022 the “Roe Versus Wade” ruling was overturned by the Supreme Court making it possible for states, not the federal government, to decide abortion legality. Before this, Roe V. Wade allowed for abortion to be legal nationwide for almost 50 years. Now, women across the United States are protesting for their right to an abortion and pro-life activists are celebrating their victory. Opinions vary: from mass media, to medical professionals, to the general public, every American seems to have a thought on the subject.
In the realm of mass media, most news sources are generally tilted towards one side of the political spectrum. CNN reports “Democrats working through phases of disbelief, fury and pain on Friday vowed to fight back. But their mission, like that of their conservative vanquishers, could last decades or even longer in pursuit of a distant goal”. CNN implies that they are generally neutral, including opinions from both sides of this subject, but they generally focus on the Democrat POV and report with a more liberal stance. On the other, conservative side of the coin, Fox News is prevalent, generally speaking of Republicans in a more positive light. After Roe V. Wade was overturned, Fox reported that “in Arizona, Republican nominee Blake Masters also released a video on social media Thursday where he stated that he supports a ban on late term and partial birth abortion, and accused Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly of lying about his abortion views. Kelly has funded an ad that states Masters ‘supports a total abortion ban. Rape. Incest. No exceptions,’ the ad states” (Fox). Both CNN and Fox are slanted, which affects their writing, reporting, and communicating to the populace, and this has never been more apparent than with the topic of abortion. As well as the media, celebrities and public figures also have strong opinions on the issue. “Real Time” host Bill Maher went to bat for pro-lifers who are often attacked by Democrats as being anti-women. Maher comments, “I’m certainly pro-choice… What I’m saying is you shouldn’t say to the other side, ‘You people hate women.’ They don’t hate women. They just think it’s murder. And if you think it’s murder, then you can’t go, ‘Well except for people with a vagina. They can commit murder.’ I don’t think it’s murder, but they legitimately do. And it insults them” (HBO). Even those in the public eye, like Bill Maher, have controversial opinions that contribute to the conversations had about abortion rights. Throughout the U.S opinions vary, and the strong stances that are taken affect all Americans.
When Roe V Wade was overturned, Indiana was the first state to put an abortion ban into affect. Arleigh Rodgers of the Associated Press wrote, “The Republican governor quickly signed a near-total ban on the procedure shortly after lawmakers approved it.” Gov. Eric Holcomb said in the statement announcing that he had signed the measure: “I am personally most proud of each Hoosier who came forward to courageously share their views in a debate that is unlikely to cease any time soon,… For my part as your governor, I will continue to keep an open ear.” This was a victory for Indiana, a majority conservative state. Though Indiana has banned abortion for all cases except rape and incest, it hasn’t changed the jobs of those in the medical field. Dr. Adam Jablonski, an OBGYN at Schneck Medical Hospital in Seymour, explained that it rarely, if ever, affects his day-to-day. Dr. Jablonski stated that “we’ve had a few people ask about getting birth control, but it’s not really a concern so we don’t have to worry about that….We don’t provide abortions and we can give women all the care they need.” He also explained that “By the time they get to us they’ve already decided not to have an abortion.” Even with the banning of abortion and the controversy surrounding it, the work of Seymour medical professionals and the health of women has been minimally affected.
Seymour High School, much like the United States, contains a wide variety of opinions and thoughts on abortion. When students were asked their general opinion, what their opinion was based on (religion or society), and how they think this new ruling will impact their future, they gave a variety of answers. Sophomore Devon Jackson was the first student to answer these questions. When asked “What is your general opinion?” Devon replied, “I think it’s [abortion] wrong, but I think there are certain cases in which it can be justified. I think that once it gets to a certain point it is considered murder or should be considered murder. But I think in certain cases like the mother will die if she has the child I think it can be justified.’’ When asked ‘’Does religion or society influence your opinion?’’, Devon replied “It’s both…I’m a Christian.” Devon was asked the final question “Will this affect your future?’’ He replied, “Personally, I don’t think it will affect my future. I plan to marry and have a child with someone who has similar views to me, so I don’t think it will negatively or positively affect me.” Elizabeth Rust, SHS Senior, was asked the same questions, and her responses show the other side of the issue. Elizabeth believes that”anybody should be able to get an abortion at any time regardless of the circumstances.” She was then asked if she had any personal experience with the issue and she said, “The main one I can’t. I just think that a lot of people aren’t in a place where they can have kids, and if they have kids the kids are going to be mistreated and not going to be loved. And then they can have kids later, and then they’ll love those kids and the kids will be well taken care of. We don’t want any people, or children, to be hungry.” She also explained that she doesn’t think “it will impact my future either way. Obviously, I will be sad for people who can’t get abortions, but I don’t think that’s going to be an issue for me personally.” Finally, Elizabeth was asked ’’Will this impact America?’’ She replied, “I think people are going to be a lot more violent. I think there will be more sexual assault. I think that a lot more women are going to start dying from botched abortions. I think that fertility rates are going to decline because women are going to be doing things that will make them so they can’t have children when they might have made a different decision if they could have gotten an abortion. I just think it’s going to be more dangerous, and I think it’s going to isolate the political parties more than they already are.”
With the overturning of Roe V. Wade, the political divide between the right and left has expanded even to the halls of SHS. Will this affect America’s future? That is still to be determined as the values and rights of Americans continue to evolve.