In 1973, the US Supreme Court’s decision during Roe v Wade legalised abortion across the country.
A leaked draft of a new Supreme Court ruling showed that Roe v. Wade is on the cusp of being overturned. On June 24 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade, allowing states to ban abortions. 26 states are expected to do so.
We are watching as women in American are, once again, threatened with losing a right – the right to choose – many feeling frustrated and confused as the significance of women’s rights is at risk.
This following unfiltered thoughts may contain themes that might be difficult to read or triggering to some readers. Readers in need can seek support from the following services or visit our Creating a Safe Space page to see a full list of support services.
On the cusp
The possibility of Roe v Wade being overturned is terrifying. It’s outrageous that in 2022, the bodies of women and people with uteruses are still being policed by a group of largely older, white, upper-class men. It’s also a grim reality that the reversal of Roe will mostly affect America’s most disempowered peoples, women of colour and working class women who can’t afford to seek abortion elsewhere. More privileged girls and women will still be able to travel to seek abortions. Many people I know aren’t concerned about Roe being reversed as they think America is so far away, but the reality is that major policy shifts in other Western nations can significantly affect politics and policy in Australia. Many “pro-life” advocates would use a decision such as the reversal of Roe to justify stricter rules surrounding abortion in Australia.
Steph, 20 TAS
America’s forgotten international abortion ban
With the imminence of the overturning of Roe v Wade, my thoughts turn to the power America has on social issues internationally. Domestically, this will result in millions of people losing access to safe abortions. This is a dreadful and scary scenario. However, largely forgotten is the impact America’s views on abortion have internationally. As a global power, America has a responsibility to deliver foreign aid to developing nations. To enable female empowerment, access to birth control, abortion, maternal services, pre and post-natal care is of utmost importance. Yet, America’s anti-abortion stance led to the Mexico City gag rule, preventing aid to be used for the aforementioned areas. Since 1985, when it came in, each Democratic President has rescinded the rule, and each Republican president reinstated the rule. Under Trump, the rule was at its most oppressive. While Biden is in, the rule has been rescinded, yet it seems only a matter of time until the next Republican president reinstates the rule. The power of America is so far-reaching, that the anti-abortion policies reach far outside the American borders.
Eliza, 20 ACT
It is not my country, but it speaks volumes.
They are a global power, this cannot be denied.
They are who lead the charge, standing for the all important freedom.
So what says them, overturning a decision like this.
Women who are not ready, cannot be ready are forced to give birth.
Women who had something stripped away by force and being stripped even further back, forced to have that horrible person’s child.
If they stand for freedom, where is it?
How can they be the home of the brave, when a woman is bullied like this?
If they can do this, what is to stop other countries following?
Now, it is the women of America but how long till it is the women of Australia?
Gabriell, 24 NSW
I cry when I read the news of Roe vs Wade being overturned,
Flat on my bed, I picture my tears pooling with the tears of every woman affected,
Today, there are enough tears to fill a lake, an ocean,
Tears are spilt in the anticipation, the realisation, that blood will be spilt too.
Women will die at the hands of this ruling,
And yet, there are people celebrating,
Enough cheers to fill a stadium, a city,
Despite their own noise, those cheering are not deaf to our cries.
They hear our tears hit the ground,
Then roll their eyes,
Here come the waterworks.
Kirra, 21 VIC
The right to choose.
I believe that overturning the ruling has a significant impact on one’s right to maintain one’s physical health. A person’s right to take care of their own bodies should always be up to them, and should never be determined by a state or country, and this right should always be an unquestionable universal right that should never be questioned. I find it absolutely disgusting that five justices have decided that they have the right to decide for people what the issue of abortion should be, and I do not think that they should have ever been granted that authority. Unfortunately, women have lost their own right to choose how they deal with their own bodies, whether they need to abort medically or if they wish to do so for any other reason, should always be their own choice and this is an utter disgrace on the behalf of those five justices involved.
Jack, 25 NSW
Eat the Rich
It sickens me that the very same US companies being praised for promising to pay for their employees to access abortion care, bankrolled the elections of pro-life politicians and donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to pro-life committees. Corporations are not your friends; they were instrumental in the overturning of Roe v Wade – they paid for it. Democrats, hours after the decision was made public, called on their voters to donate to the party so they could codify abortion rights into federal law, despite decades of failing to do that exact thing when they had the chance – a disgusting money-grab using fundamental human rights as a fucking fundraising point. When they say most Americans were against the decision to overturn Roe v Wade, they’re not throwing out unfounded leftist arguments – they’re speaking facts. This wasn’t politicians representing the people’s interests. This isn’t about protecting unborn lives. It’s about control; it’s about reinforcing their oppressive system; it’s about making the rich and powerful, more rich and powerful.
This decision was made by a bunch of rich old white men, and funded by a bunch of companies ran by more rich old white men. And now other rich old white men who claim to be the good guys are asking for your money, are telling you how good they are so that you’ll use their products. Eat the fucking rich.
Maeson, 21 WA
Outraged and Horrified
I genuinely cannot believe the Roe vs Wade situation in the US, I cannot believe that a first world country can take such a backwards step. I feel horrified and upset for American women and women around the world, and hugely frustrated and confused as to how this can even happen. It’s absurd that a group of people can make such personal decisions about other people’s bodies. It’s a human right to make decisions about your own body, and I am horrified and outraged that this right has been taken away for millions of women. It’s wrong on so many levels, and I can only hope other leaders do not follow. We need more leaders to take a stand and vocalise how wrong this is.
Crystal, 26 NSW