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Roe v. Wade overturn would bring many consequences

SUN. | 06-05-22 | OPINION

     Recently there was a leak within the Supreme Court disclosing that there is a 5 to 4 vote to overturn the landmark case Roe v. Wade (1973). The case Roe v. Wade is most known for creating legislation that protects a woman’s right to have an abortion within the first trimester of pregnancy. Overturning this case would essentially leave abortion rights up to the state governments to decide on. 

     Overturning this legislation would be a completely unfair verdict to impose on the citizens. I understand that not everyone agrees with it, and that it is against some people’s religion; however, this is not grounds to take away the right from others. One of the founding principles of this country is a separation of church and state. You cannot force others to legally

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Graphic by Liv Carpenter

follow your religious beliefs. This country is home to a myriad of different religions, all with different principles and beliefs. Just because one religion does not allow something doesn’t mean that everyone else has to abide by that rule. 

     I also understand that some people see abortions as taking the life of a child. I can sympathize with this and understand that if you view abortions in this way, it makes sense to not allow it. However, abortion is protected under Roe v. Wade up to the first trimester. The end of the first trimester marks when the fetus’ organs are fully formed and functioning. Up until this point, the fetus is developing the parts of the body essential to life. Roe v. Wade intentionally stops at the first trimester as that is the point when the fetus can truly be considered alive. The only exception past this is for medical reasons, which brings me to my next point.

     By getting rid of abortions, you can put the person carrying the baby at risk. Childbirth is a grueling process and can sometimes lead to complications. Abortions can save the lives of the person carrying the baby. In 2018, there were reportedly 660 deaths related to childbirth in the United States. That number is with the protection of Roe v. Wade. Imagine how that number would increased once it is made more difficult to get an abortion. With less people able to get an abortion and more being forced to have a child, the number of birth-related deaths will skyrocket. Forcing someone to give birth, even though it could be a detriment to their health, is essentially placing value on your personal beliefs over someone’s life. 

     Forcing someone to give birth can also put that person into a financial situation that they are not ready for. The average medical bill for childbirth in the United States is $13,024. A cesarean section birth, which is often required when the person carrying the child is at risk, is $22,646. In contrast, an abortion pill which can be used within the first ten weeks of pregnancy range from $350-$650. A vacuum abortion which can be done 6-12 weeks into pregnancy costs $600-$1000. Dilation and curettage abortions which can be done 13-16 weeks into pregnancy cost $850-$1600. Abortions are simply cheaper. Some people cannot afford to have a child because of the economic state they are in. Those prices don’t even include how expensive it is to raise a child. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the average parent spends roughly $13,000 dollars a year on a child. In the first year of childbirth, using these numbers and assuming the childbirth was not a C-section, the parent could spend roughly $26,024. According to the Pew Research Center, lower-income households had a yearly income of under $48,500. The process of childbirth and raising a child just in that first year is over half of their yearly income. When the alternative of an abortion is so much cheaper, some people do not have a choice between having their child and an abortion. To force them to have their child is to force them into more economic disparity. 

     Getting rid of Roe v. Wade would also force young people whose entire future could be affected by a child to have a kid. The percentage of teen mothers who finish high school is only 40 percent, while less than two percent finish college by the age of 30. An abortion could save a high school student from ending up in a low-income situation where they cannot take care of their child. According to Northeastern University, the yearly income of people without a high school diploma or equivalent, such as a GED, is $30,784, putting them into the previously discussed low-income category. With so many teen mothers not graduating from high school, this creates a cycle of children growing up in low-income situations. Taking the option of abortion away from people will drastically increase the number of teen mothers and subsequently increase the economic disparity in this country.

     Overturning Roe v. Wade will result in opportunities being taken away from young people, an increased economic disparity in the country and an increase in the number of birth-related deaths. For these reasons, I believe Roe v. Wade should remain the legal precedent it has been for nearly the last 50 years.

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