The Future of American Women’s Healthcare: Roe v Wade’s Overturn


January 22, 1973: The first date that the court case Roe v. Wade came into the public eye in favour of “Jane Roe” (pseudonym). Roe changed lives for American women for decades after this. She argued that women have the fundamental right to choose whether to have abortions without excessive government control, striking Texas’ abortion law as unconstitutional. The precedent and outcome of Roe v. Wade has been protecting American women for decades, allowing them to have safe and professional procedures. Abortion is a medical procedure, and needs to be treated as such. There was comfort in knowing there was a “safety net”, just in case anything should happen, there was something backing women in tough positions. Since 1973, many challenges have faced the outcome of Roe v. Wade. 



Some of the cases concerning the precedent of Roe v. Wade include Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), in which the Court ruled that restrictions on abortion are unconstitutional if they place an “undue burden” on a woman seeking an abortion before the fetus is viable. Another one is Gonzales v. Carhart (2007), prohibiting a rarely used form of abortion. The Court then invoked its ruling from Casey (2016)in which they struck down two Texas laws stating “requiring abortion clinics to meet the standards of ambulatory surgical centres and abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.” A very similar case came along in 2020, which then reversed the ruling made in 2016. 



The Supreme Court agreed to review in its October 2021 ruling a decision to strike down Mississippi’s state law that abortions are no longer deemed legal after the 15th week of pregnancy. This law was outright unconstitutional, but Mississippi still fought for it to be brought to the Supreme Court in hopes that the majority Conservative voters would overturn or reduce the scope of these decisions. 

This means that the Court is currently ruling on whether or not all pre-viability abortions are deemed unconstitutional. In May of 2022, the a draft of the majority opinion was leaked- an extraordinary breach of the Supreme Court’s secrecy and nondisclosure laws. The opinion, dated February 2022, indicated that the Court had voted to overturn both Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.



The rulings are still continuing, so it is unsaid whether or not Roe v. Wade will for sure be overturned. However, things are not looking good for women. Abortion clinics will be few and far between, the majority of which may practice with unsanitary or unsafe habits. This makes the mother more susceptible to harm- something she would not be under if it were for safe abortion clinics. Women around the United States are fighting for the Supreme Court to not overturn this ruling and to keep abortion legal and safe.