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Roe v Wade: Gone Forever? By Ashanti Hannon

There are situations that none of us thought would happen in our lifetimes. We brushed them off as mere possibilities or deemed them unrealistic because they sounded too good to be true. Or they just sounded mind-blowingly absurd because we tell ourselves “oh, that would never happen.” But imagine all the safety and certainty that you felt about something and then watch in dismay as it’s taken away from you because some people think you just can’t be trusted to make your own decisions.

This was the experience for many of us on June 24, 2022. Roe v. Wade – providing fifty years of legal protection – was stripped away by the U.S. Supreme Court by a vote of 6-3, giving state legislatures the power to determine such a medical procedure. The ruling canceled the High Court’s landmark decision in 1973 that granted women the right to abort an unwanted pregnancy. The ruling’s aftermath resulted in the clashing of opinions on online forums and in real life, protests, and some individuals risking being disowned if they didn’t share their family’s views. This discourse was happening to everyone, everywhere, all at once.

Time had stopped for a second, then started again. This was protection I thought would remain in place for as long as this country would remain because we were forward-thinking and believed in choice. The overturn proved how wrong I and many others were.

Many argue that the overturn happened for multiple reasons, like an attempt to revive the declining population; it was a ploy by capitalists to get more workers making them rich; a bunch of old white men and pathetic women in Congress with no spine who think that women should not have the right nor access to terminate a pregnancy – whether it’s her choice or medically necessary. But is either – the choice or medical necessity – any of our business? How could a bunch of complete strangers even be remotely interested in what goes on with someone else’s body? Reasons for disagreeing with one receiving an abortion are the same across the board.

I wanted to have a conversation, so I spoke to some of you. One thing for sure is that NY Tech students have lots to say.

One student who decided to remain anonymous for this one voiced his frustration. “American politicians and conservatives want to ban abortions…while these politicians probably have had them or given them to their spouses at some point”. And he’s not wrong. Prominent Republican campaigner Herschel Walker recently came under fire by his son, conservative commentator Christian Walker. The college student accused the candidate of not being an active father in his children’s lives, having multiple children with different women, then paying for an abortion for his former girlfriend years ago.

Just recently on Oct. 4, a woman came out accusing Walker of urging her to receive an abortion when she became pregnant with his child. The woman provided a $575 receipt from an abortion clinic, a $700 check, and a get-well card from Walker. “It’s all about control…and conservatives that have had this power increase against women in the country will definitely try to obtain more”, he added.

When it comes down to tough conversations, Gen Z is more likely to challenge previous generations on controversial topics, usually among family and friends. Supporters of reproductive rights take action by donating to safe spaces for abortion and voting. Some are running for office with the aim of effecting real change in their communities and the well-being of others. A prime example of this is Maxwell Frost, a 24-year-old candidate for Congress in Florida’s 10th Congressional district.

Survey Questions:

  1. How do you feel about the overturning of Roe v Wade in some states and why?

  2. Should states have the final say on whether someone can get an abortion?

  3. What do you think are some potential effects of the overturn we could see in the next one to five years?

  4. Should companies get involved in the matter of one seeking an abortion? Could this be related to whether health insurance companies cover abortions?

  5. Should abortions boil down to people’s choices?

The survey was emailed to 20 students, of whom one decided to not answer, most were against the overturn, and a few agreed with the overturn of Roe v. Wade believing it is morally wrong to receive an abortion, but only depending on the context of said abortion.

The overturn of Roe v Wade has had serious reactions from people. Most people expressed their disdain toward the Supreme Court’s ruling. Women particularly expressed their views on the decision. Gen Z, now the largest voting group among generations, has been more active politically than any other generation. When asked about how they felt about the decision, most stated they don’t support the overturn, overwhelmingly stating that it strips people, especially women, of their reproductive rights. “Being a woman in America is terrifying now more than ever” says some women.

How does this affect Gen Z? As the most politically active group, Gen Z is the generation that brings topics to the surface and speaks on them with no hesitation. Rising social issues sparked conversations amongst gen z's to which they expressed their opinions on social media about the supreme court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade,

Among gen Z, 2 out of 3 are pro-choice, 20 percent higher than the national average. Most gen z don’t want their reproductive rights to be taken away from them, so they’re making plans to ensure they don’t end up in an undesirable situation. Many are considering permanent forms of birth control, like getting their tubes tied or undergoing a vasectomy. Most respondents to surveys were female, who not surprisingly, were the most vocal about the decision considering it’s a decision that affects them greater than men.

Abortions are medically necessary for women. She may experience preeclampsia, the child might have genetic defects that could affect their development, gestational diabetes, contraction of an STD, and many more. But one that’s above all is that a woman just changed her mind and she simply can’t care for a child because she’s not cut out for motherhood or may want to prolong her decision.

Hearing the news about the overturn of Roe v. Wade, the access for women to have abortions, and the confidentiality between patient and doctor being ripped away from women because of a fear of women having a choice. That's all this boils down to. Interestingly, no one talks about the complications during and post-pregnancy that weigh heavy on the shoulders of women.

So many people seem to think that a woman’s choice should be a reflection of others’ choices because they just seem so happy, calling it the best decision they ever made. Everyone sees smiling babies, smiling mothers, and fathers that look happy, and everyone is just so excited about the arrival of the child but no one takes time to think about the impact on the woman.

For some, motherhood is not meant for them. To put it bluntly, men are praised for sleeping around and encouraged to get time away from dad duties because he needs it. But let a woman decide to sow her oats and do as she pleases and she’s labeled a zealot, harlot, slut, and pretty much any insult to add to the slut shaming. And don’t let her be a mother. What, you need time away from the kids? But you’re their mom. It’s your job to be there. Think about the kids. A woman has to be self-sacrificing in everything she does.

A man gets to keep his individuality and all the hobbies he enjoys to keep his sanity as long as he doesn’t have to do so much other than tousle his kid's hair and escape to the couch where he can kick his feet up with this inner knowing that he doesn't have to do any of it. With so much ease, I might add. This also adds to the ever-present assumption that all women would feel fulfilled with a husband and children. We can all see where this assumption is total BS because not all women are heterosexual, cis, or sexual to begin with. Not all women want to be married. And not all women want kids.

One student who decided to remain anonymous, eloquently stated “the basis upon which other people see me is, first and foremost, that I am female, and all sorts of automatic assumptions about me form including the fact that I am inherently lesser”, not uncommon from women living in a world where she has to be reminded that she is female and that her every being and very existence must be lived out through a primarily female way, one that boosts the male ego and shuts hers down.

Ironically, having a child also is the definition of one ruining their life. We heard all the time growing up, “don’t get pregnant” and “don’t get anyone pregnant.” Why? Because being or getting someone knocked up meant that your life would be at a standstill and you’d have to give everything you’re working on for yourself for a child that you more than likely are not ready for.

When it comes down to matters of the effects of the overturn over the next five years, Sani Doobay, Comp Sci major graduating 2026 says “drive women to dangerous abortion clinics and other unsafe means that can have severe consequences and sometimes prove to be life-threatening.”

As this is a sensitive topic, a few students did feel uneasy about the overturn and some supported the decision, but still agreed that it’s a choice that should be left on the table.

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