Roe v. Wade decision is driving men and women to midterm polls

The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade is driving women at PNW to the polls this November.

“This topic makes me sad and angry for every woman in the United States who is not able to have the proper health care due to this law being overturned,” said Bela Green, a senior Psychology major. “It’s very important that people understand how extreme …states are punishing women that break the laws put into effect regarding the overturning of Roe v. Wade.” 

Colette Morrow, director of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, said the Supreme Court’s June decision to eliminate the federal right to abortion has mobilized women of all ages to advocate for their right to make their own health care choices. She said that women are motivated by the issue of reproductive justice – or the right to control their own reproductive health.

“Reproductive justice is a much broader construct than ‘pro-choice,’ Morrow said. “How it is specifically manifest depends on local experiences of diverse populations.

“Young women are showing up around the world to demand bodily autonomy,” she said. “Young women are leading this movement, whether in Iran where they are demanding that the government stop regulating their bodies through forced hijab; in Columbia where women recently achieved decriminalization of abortion up to 24 weeks of pregnancy, or in Northwest Indiana, where they are resolutely resisting government interference in their reproductive health care decisions.”

For Green, the issue takes priority.

“I used to have politicians that I followed but once I realized they don’t support choice I started to support them less and less,” said Green. “Being able to vote this November for someone who aligns themselves with the same beliefs as me when it comes to women’s rights will make my reason to vote more empowering and important.”

Green said she is disturbed that the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, which had made abortion legal nationally. Thanks to the ruling, state legislatures can make abortion legal or illegal. More than 20 states have laws that restrict abortion, including 13 that have made all or most abortions illegal. Indiana legislators passed similar legislation, but it has been the state Supreme Court has blocked Indiana from enforcing the law until the court considers if it violates the state’s constitution.

The independent Pew Research Center reports that 62% of Americans say abortion should be legal in all or most cases. 

The issue has riled up Megan Thompson, sophomore Psychology major.

“I’m not someone who considers myself a political person,” she said. “But lately, when I spend time with my friends, we find ourselves talking about body autonomy. And that’s why we’re voting this year.”

Freshman Biology major Leah Ridgeway agreed.

“I feel that a woman should have a right to choose,” she said. “I do believe [abortion] is a sad thing, but it’s even sadder [that] women are getting illegal abortions and dying or leaving babies in an alley because they don’t have access to a safe and legal abortion.

“II don’t see anything pro-life about women being killed due to unsafe abortions,” she said. “Or children growing up in unsafe environments that lead them down the wrong path.”