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A Change Worth Fighting- A Story Worth Listening

Written by Arushi Neravetla

Edited by Sharon Park and Jocelyn Wang

Hey everyone! This important article on abortion by Arushi brings our Perinatal Pathology series to a close. This article covers Roe V. Wade and its implications in the US for women nationwide. Hope you enjoy the article!

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On Friday, June 24, the overturn of Roe versus Wade made national headlines across the U.S., deeming it to be a battle of opinion and perception. To give a little background, the case of Roe versus Wade is a legal landmark case established on January 22, 1973, which highlighted the universal right for a woman to have an abortion and was crucial in protecting the right to privacy as stated in the 14th amendment. The tides carried a great struggle as protests rose in the name of the recent Supreme Court’s decision in overturning Roe versus Wade with protestors declaring that the constitutional right to abortion exists. The recent setback and shock behind this decision changed the American public’s attitude as the controversial topic of abortion presents a profound issue among people who hold mainly conflicting views. On one side of the spectrum, critics argue abortion kills a human life. Meanwhile, others strongly object and want women to be able to choose to have an abortion as they should freely do so. Finally, there are also people who believe that abortion should only happen under specific circumstances deemed necessary.



To continue, the Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s commentary of the case as “egregiously wrong and deeply damaging”, demonstrates how some Court Justices didn’t approve of overturning Roe altogether. The case also drew attention to the Constitution, which didn’t address any clause about abortion nor had any implicit protection, defining that the Constitution didn’t protect a women’s right to have an abortion. While states have the control over issuing abortion bans and triggering laws, this case also evoked more protests and brought light to changes needed to revolutionize the fight for women’s reproductive rights.






As such, the abortion debate has been one of the biggest fault lines in American politics- an emotional and visceral issue. Abortion is a basic medical procedure and healthcare need for millions of women, girls, and anyone who can become pregnant. Preventing females from obtaining access to an abortion can also pose risky actions of having unsafe abortions. Amnesty International is a global movement that campaigns for human rights and justice. The organization addresses how over 25 million unsafe abortions take place each year, with fatal consequences. From the abortion bans- those who are already marginalized are disproportionately affected by such laws as they don’t have safe and legal services to access private health care, include refugees, lesbian women, bisexual cisgender women, transgender women, and Indigenous women. The stigma around abortion and gender stereotyping is also linked with restrictive abortion laws that are being passed, as women are also shamed when seeking abortion services.



The following story is from the Washington Post of 18-year-old Brooke Alexander and her boyfriend, the breadwinner making ends meet. When Brooke first found out about her pregnancy, it was unexpected that her choice for having an abortion is too late. This was due to the Texas Heartbeat Act- which banned abortions once an ultrasound can detect cardiac activity, around six weeks of pregnancy. Many Texans who wanted abortions- were challenged to drive hundreds of miles and pay hundreds of dollars just for having one. The unfortunate implications behind this is that not everyone can afford the financial demands and time to leave the state and undergo an abortion. The state of Texas offers a glimpse of the aftermath of Roe vs Wade, where roughly half of the US are drastically taking measures to set out to establish abortion bans. Sometimes, Brooke herself often wondered what life would be like if she was not pregnant and if Texas hadn’t banned abortion.



From 2020, data from the Pew Research Center showed that the rate of abortions among women has generally been declining in the U.S. since 1981, reporting 29.3 abortions per 1,000 women in ages 20-35 years old. In general, clinics make up a slight majority of 51% and since the overturn of Roe versus Wade, there has been a dramatic decline in the total number of abortions provided which demonstrates how little protection women get for wanting an abortion. For example, Meg Schurr was 22 years old when she was sexually assaulted. As a college student, her dream of working in public health came to a halt when she found out she was pregnant from the assault. Abortion felt like her only option, and it was tough making this huge step in life on top of the challenges in finding a clinic to aid her in having an abortion. Luckily, her doctors found a clinic that was able to get her an abortion and due to such circumstances, she is still thankful today. From this experience, Schurr wants to also provide that same freedom to many Americans who are also deeply struggling with the same situation and that is what Schurr is fighting for- change!



As such, having access to safe abortion is a matter of human rights, and each individual should have their own choices to make with their bodies. Access to abortion is fundamentally important and all women need to be able to receive safe abortions. Therefore, change is needed, full of trials and tribulations, but we are demanding for women’s rights to be voiced once again.



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Thanks for reading the last article in our Perinatal Pathology week! We hope you learned about the importance of abortion access for women globally.


If you enjoyed reading this article, check out the second article in our Perinatal Pathology series, The Fascinating FETO by Ellison Morgan.


Until next time,

Arushi and the Writing Committee :)



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