Jan. 22, 2022, marked the 49-year anniversary of Roe v. Wade. This year, arguably more so than in the past, Roe v. Wade is in danger of being overturned. This would be a major setback in women's rights. With six conservative judges in the supreme court, the right to get an abortion could be in danger.
It all started when a federal court overturned Mississippi's 15-week abortion prohibition. The state then petitioned the Supreme Court to either overturn Roe v. Wade or let states pre-viability abortion restrictions. Oral arguments were held in December, with a ruling expected in late spring or early summer.
The Supreme Court denied a request by abortion clinics in Texas for a federal court to take immediate action on their challenge to a state law that prohibits most abortions after six weeks. According to the three liberal justices who dissented, the actual consequence of the order was to keep the statute in place permanently. “This case is a disaster for the rule of law and a grave disservice to women in Texas, who have a right to control their own bodies,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote.
Even if Roe is overturned, there are movements underway to preserve the right to abortion. Many states, including New York, Hawaii, California, and Washington, have statutory abortion rights safeguards in their laws. With the executive and legislative branches of the United States government supporting abortion rights, there are plans in the works to overturn the Texas ban and create legislation such as the Women's Health Protection Act, a bill currently in Congress that would prohibit abortion bans and other restrictions.
If Roe is overturned then it will be left up to the states to uphold women's rights. According to the Guttmacher Institute, an organization focused on reproductive health and rights, if Roe v. Wade were overturned, 21 states would ban or severely restrict abortion access. Are we really a country that takes away the rights of women?