The End of Roe v. Wade: The Ramifications of Having a Partisan Supreme Court

* Trigger Warning: This article covers sensitive topics and discusses unsafe medical procedures.

Although there have been many previous Supreme Court cases, such as Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) or Bush v. Gore (2000), that have upsetted certain sides of the political aisle, the overturn of Roe v. Wade has caused public faith in the court to “sink to a historic low.” According to a Gallup poll, only 25% of Americans currently have confidence in the Supreme Court as opposed to the 60% last year. If the Supreme Court justices truly believe they are preserving the right of the state and democracy to decide a woman’s right to choose, why is it that a majority of Americans hold this lack of confidence in the highest court of the land? 

Due to the reversal of Roe v. Wade (1973), the landmark decision which provided women with the right to choose, many Americans are criticizing the court’s justices for playing partisan games that will cost the lives of women seeking legal access to safe abortions. By ending nearly 50 years of constitutional protections for abortion, the current Supreme Court’s liberal justices stated that, “Young women will come of age with fewer rights than their mothers and grandmothers.”

Redefining Liberty and Privacy 

Despite stating that Roe v. Wade is the “law of the land” and “a very important precedent” at their confirmation hearings, Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh helped overturn this decision which protected a woman’s constitutional right to choose. In the majority opinion of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (2022), Justice Samuel Alito states that since the right to an abortion is not explicitly mentioned in the US Constitution, it is not a fundamental right and should not be allowed in today’s society. According to a legal philosophy known as “original intent,” the Supreme Court justices should interpret the US Constitution in the way that the framers intended when they wrote and adopted the Constitution. However, because the founding document does not mention important issues such as same-sex or interracial marriages, will the current Supreme Court overturn these legal precedents next? One of the biggest flaws of textualism is that it ignores the fact that as society progresses, political issues of the day also change with time. Because the Constitution doesn’t explicitly mention the right to bodily autonomy, textualism is a flawed interpretation which undermines the right to choose by appealing to “democracy.” 

The reversal of Roe v. Wade and Samuel Alito’s reasoning behind the majority decision may lead to other landmark decisions being overturned such as Griswold v. Connecticut (1965). In Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), the Supreme Court ruled that restrictions on contraceptives violate the right to privacy which is implicitly protected by the US Constitution. In the Dobbs decision, where the majority of the court stated that abortion is not a constitutional right, Justice Clarence Thomas argued that the Supreme Court “should reconsider its past rulings regarding contraceptive access and same-sex marriage.”  Essentially, the reversal of Roe v. Wade could lead to the current Supreme Court overturning landmark decisions such as Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) and Loving v. Virginia (1967) because these are cases regarding the fourteenth amendment’s “due process clause.”. By overturning Roe v. Wade on the basis that democratic processes should decide abortion access in states, the Supreme Court’s judgment is not right or democratic due to high systemic obstacles to voting, unequal access to the polls, gerrymandering, etc. While the Supreme Court justices believe they made a value judgment regarding abortion rights, recent rulings regarding privacy and the right to choose has led to the American public viewing the court as illegitimate and incompetent. 

Gender, Race, and Class Inequality 

While pro-life individuals view the overturning of Roe v. Wade as a win for humanity, this catastrophic decision will only prevent safe and legal abortions from occurring. By eliminating legal abortion access and allowing certain states to prevent anybody from getting an abortion, the US Supreme Court is still putting many lives in danger despite other cases such as Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857) being much worse for certain segments of the population. Every year, around 68,000 women die of unsafe abortions due to financial instability or not being able to get an abortion earlier in the pregnancy. Since the reversal of Roe v. Wade ended legal access to abortions in states such as Texas due to trigger laws, there will be more women undergoing “unsafe medical procedures’ ‘ because they have no other choice. In places where abortion has been outlawed by state legislatures, there will be an increase in unsafe abortions that may be performed with the following methods: the use of sharp sticks, ingestion of toxic substances such as bleach, and the intentional infliction of trauma. The lack of access to safe and affordable abortions can result in more health-related complications since many women will be unable to obtain abortions legally. While women living in states such as California and New York will be able to seek an abortion in their state, women living in Texas will have to spend money to travel to a state with abortion access, creating financial burdens for those living in conservative states. Not only will there be more unsafe abortions occurring in the United States, but abortions will become more expensive and financially difficult for low-income women who need these medical procedures the most. In the Brookings Center study about the class divide regarding abortion access, low-income women are more than five times likely than affluent women to experience an unplanned pregnancy. These unplanned pregnancies have a greater impact on low-income women as unintended childbearing is associated with maternal depression and higher rates of poverty for women who are already in a vulnerable economic position. Not only did the Supreme Court create economic struggles for women in states with strict laws, the reversal of Roe v. Wade will impact women of color living in rural areas the most. According to Michelle Goodwin, an author and member on the executive board of the ACLU, “A black woman in Mississippi is 118 times more likely to die from carrying a pregnancy to term than getting a legal abortion.” Additionally, the maternal death rate for black women is “at least four times that of white women. By overturning Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court will put more women in danger living in states such as Louisiana, where the maternal mortality rate is high due to a lack of healthcare and abortion access in the state. 

Emotional and Psychological Trauma 

By overturning Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court allowing states to decide abortion laws has jeopardized the physical and emotional safety of women living in states that have banned the right to choose. While women in predominantly Democratic states such as California have abortion access, women in Republican states are living in a world where their bodies aren’t under their own control. In a 2018 study conducted by the American Journal of Psychiatry, women who had been denied an abortion reported more anxiety and lower self-esteem compared to the women who received an abortion. Additionally, the Dobbs decision will also result in increased gender violence in states with these abortion restrictions. Due to how common sexual assault is in the United States, forcing someone to give birth in these situations will traumatize the victim by denying them the proper healthcare and right to decide what to do with their own body. These abortion restriction laws ultimately undermine individuals’ bodily autonomy while destroying the mental health and well-being of people who are forced to give birth. 


Not only has the Supreme Court lost the public’s trust by overturning a precedent that was supported by the vast majority of Americans, but the Dobbs decision has undermined the U.S. Constitution’s “guarantees of liberty and equality for all.” Although lawmakers may argue that the Supreme Court’s decision is a “win for life,” the Dobbs decision has simply ended the access to safe and legal abortions in states like Texas or Alabama. Since these states are now able to force women to carry a child regardless of rape or incest cases, some women will undergo dangerous methods of abortion that can result in death. The Supreme Court has also undermined the constitutional right to privacy and may reevaluate cases regarding “same-sex marriage and contraceptives” that impact the lives of millions of individuals in the United States. The Dobbs decision goes against the popular opinion of most Americans rather than just individuals on the left. Ultimately, the court’s partisan ruling will create financial burdens, health complications, and emotional trauma for women unable to obtain a desired abortion in their state.

Categories: Culture

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