What Happened to a Woman’s Freedom of Choice?
On June 24, 2022, we watched, as the United States Supreme Court voted (5-4) to overturn Roe v. Wade. The landmark ruling was established in 1973, it granted women the constitutional right to abortion. The new ruling impacts the autonomy of millions of women in this country, as each state is set to decide, whether or not abortion will be legal.
World leaders reacted to the news. Many expressed their views using statements like “I think it’s a big step backward. “No government, politician, or man should tell a woman what she can and cannot do with her body.” “Banning abortion never leads to fewer abortions, only more unsafe abortions.”
It is not customary for our platform to take part in political matters. However, as a woman, it is impossible not to comment on a matter that affects women. The fundamental right to choose has long been a topic of debate. The blatant disregard for this right is a sign of change in the wrong direction, concerning women all over the country.
Not too long ago, women were denied plenty of rights. In fact, prior to the late 1960s – early 1970s, set limitations would blow your mind.
- Until legislation to protect women came along, Violence Act Against Women, refusing sex to a spouse was not permitted.
- Opening a bank account or having credit cards required the authorization of husbands or male relatives.
- Taking on careers like female astronauts, Supreme Court judges, and Ivy League Scholars was unheard of.
- Accessing the morning pill, contraception, and even buying athletic shoes was a battle.
- Women were excluded from serving on a jury.
- No rights to birth control.
- No equality in the workplace.
These were only some ways, women were blocked from having individual power. The good news is that in recent decades, we have witnessed evolution, as we walk the shoes of corporate c-suite executives, surgeons, judges, US Secretary of State, and even, a US Vice President. The needle of inequality has been moving in the right direction, despite the latest rejection by the US Supreme Court to take away rights to abortion.
Many believe the damage can have future consequences, as interference of the courts in what we do with our bodies has the potential to chip away at a woman’s independence. Is it possible? Well, anything is possible. One major dilemma, our daughters, sisters, nieces, and friends, no longer have the power to decide for themselves in the face of devastating acts of incest, rape, or life-threatening cases. Another consideration would be to think of the average contraceptive method being 99% effective. What will be the fate of the 1%, where contraception fails? What will women do in states that have already banned abortions?
The lifelong debate on this subject is an emotional one, each side profoundly believes in its perspective. But it is critical to practice compassion for anyone in this space. Not all pregnancies are created equal. Financial, psychological, emotional, and physical circumstances have an effect on the decision of whether or not to bring life into the world, it’s a very personal matter. Unfortunately, the choice has now been made for countless women.
So, I share this afterthought; How does a country built on a foundation that prides itself in “Freedom of Choice?” refuse women the right to free will, doing what is best for themselves and their bodies? I’m still searching for an answer to the question. I will have to stand by and watch with the rest of the world, as the impact of this major transformation to women’s rights makes waves for women everywhere.
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