Editorial: The Loss of Roe v. Wade


Xiangyao Tang

Demonstrators march up the steps of the Utah State Capitol in protest of the potential overturn of Roe v. Wade in Salt Lake City on May 5, 2022. (Photo by Xiangyao “Axe” Tang | The Daily Utah Chronicle)


Today the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. The landmark case once federally protected abortion rights and the right to privacy. In a month, 13 states are posed to ban abortion. Several more will likely implement further bans. Unless Congress acts now, states will determine an individual’s right to an abortion. These actions foretell a future with an increasingly tyrannical Supreme Court, who will not stop at forcing millions of women to bear children they can’t provide for.

Women who can’t afford or travel to states with safe abortions will turn to desperate, life-threatening methods. Mothers seeking abortions to care for their current children will struggle to provide for the families they chose to create. For queer and trans women whose rights are constantly questioned — their grim reality will only become darker. Disabled, sick and BIPOC women who become pregnant will die because of inadequate healthcare. As of 2020 in the U.S., Black infants already die at twice the rate of white infants. Restricting abortion access irrefutably targets minority and marginalized communities.

Shifting responsibility to individual states only expounds this phenomenon. According to Utah Women’s Health Review (UWHR), spatial disparities in abortion care have grown as more “abortion-restricting legislation has been enacted at the state level.” Economic affluency also acts as a main indicator of whether or not populations will maintain access or proximity to abortion care. Many wealthy areas will remain unscathed while places with the highest poverty rates will suffer the largest impacts. At the same time, abortion restrictions are associated with “adverse maternal and infant health outcomes.”

So, let’s acknowledge this decision for what it really is. Not rooted in moral or scientific foundation, but racially, oligarchically and religiously motivated. For instance, four of the five Supreme Court judges who voted to overturn Roe v Wade identify as Catholic. Texas, a Christian nationalist state, lists “[creation] in the image of God” as reason to disapprove of abortion in their 2020 GOP platform. Despite the Establishment clause of the First Amendment requiring the separation of church and state, our government respects no such thing. In the same week that they gutted abortion access, the court ruled to allow state-funded religious schools. Religious organizations have historically meddled in state affairs to secure abortion restrictions that would harm women’s suffrage, among other things. And as Justice Clarence Thomas has made abundantly clear, women’s reproductive health isn’t the only thing in danger.

The loss of Roe threatens same-sex and interracial marriage, as well as rights to contraceptives. Millions will suffer financially as pregnant women get pushed out of the workforce due to unpaid maternity leave, no affordable childcare or equal pay. Women won’t be able to choose between pursuing an education and taking care of a child as their agency is ripped away from them. And for men who think the overturning of Roe doesn’t pertain to them – think again. Whoever you impregnate may be forced to give birth to a child you can’t support.

Last time we checked, the Constitution doesn’t allow for a non-elected government entity to decide what we as individuals do with our bodies. Yet we continue to allow a group of nine people, who know nothing of our unique situations, to mold modern society based on the interpretation of an outdated document. We have no choice in who they are or how long they serve. They obsess over abiding by every single line and sentiment written in the Constitution only to fail their actual constituents.

Who cares what the Founding Fathers intended when they wrote the Constitution? The world Thomas Jefferson lived in is incredibly different from the one we live in now. We should make decisions that reflect our progress rather than our past. We are leading ourselves into oblivion by following a document not meant for women or Black people, and certainly not meant for 2022. Imagine what a truly liberated country could do for its people. When are we going to live for ourselves instead of the Founding Fathers?

We’re creating a world where our lives mean less than the ones we carry, where women alive today have lived to experience both the protection and demolition of their reproductive rights in backward order. Our accomplishments and value can be cast aside for the sake of a fetus. An unborn child will have more rights than we do, unless (God forbid) it’s born a girl.

The leaders who proudly advocate for abortion rights keep telling us to fight and to vote. But at this point, what can we do? When has this so-called democracy worked in our favor? We’ve already taken to the streets and voted. We’ve already relied on a political party to protect our rights. Look where we are now. You aren’t fighting for us. You aren’t even representing us. Not anymore.

The end of Roe will result in chaos. There’s no digestible way to put it. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: What the fuck are we doing? 


The Daily Utah Chronicle Editorial Board is a group of senior opinion journalists who rely on research and debate to write staff editorials. Editorials represent the majority view of the editorial board and are written separately from the newsroom.