Students express opinions on Roe v. Wade reversal

Ainsley Platt, News Editor

The country has begun to come to terms with the Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling in its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.  

After the ruling was made public, an injunction blocking a 2019 Alabama law that banned all abortions in Alabama, except to save the life of the mother, was lifted. This effectively banned the procedure in the state for the first time in 50 years.  

The issue of abortion is a polarizing one, and many students expressed strong opinions on the issue as a whole, in addition to the overturn of Roe. 

“I am so sad for every woman who no longer has control over her own body,” said Alli Hoeni, a junior majoring in dance and advertising. “I am sad for women who now have to birth children into a country where the foster system is already a mess, there is a baby formula shortage, and an alarming number of school shootings every year. I am scared of what rights our country will rob its citizens of next.” 

Another student, Tanaiya Sanders, a sophomore majoring in sports media and communications, expressed similar sentiments. 

“My rights are being taken away,” Sanders said. “What happened to the separation of church and state?” 

Ali Bartlett, a junior majoring in psychology, said that she was working at a kids’ summer camp when she heard the news, adding that she was mortified and felt like crying when she heard. 

“I firmly believe women have the right to choice. It is your body, your choice,” Bartlett said. “I felt sick to my stomach that my and every little girl with me rights and bodily autonomy had been taken away.” 

Others said that while they were personally against abortion, they felt like the decision to overturn Roe was a step too far. 

“So personally [I] don’t like abortion,” Daniel Thompson, a freshman majoring in aerospace engineering, said. “However, I think it needs to remain legal until we start providing good care for mothers and the children. Even then it absolutely needs to remain legal in cases of rape, incest, and if the mother’s life is in danger.” 

Thompson went on to say that of the 13 states that did not expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, which provides pregnancy-related health coverage, many of them are states that are moving to ban abortion. He also said that those same states have “some of the highest maternal mortality rates. Some of the same states also have some of the highest infant mortality rates.” 

Kyra Nathanson, a junior majoring in marketing and management, said that while she leans towards being pro-life, she finds “this issue to be a personal choice despite [her] own personal beliefs.” 

Other students, like Jillian Page, a senior majoring in finance and economics, said she has mixed feelings about abortion, saying that while she doesn’t want a child to be raised by someone “who doesn’t want them,” she also has “trouble justifying the death of someone who has no say (the baby) and was given no fighting chance.”  

“There have been many successful people who came from bad situations, so just because of the chance they are being born into a bad situation, does that mean it’s better to not exist than to have a chance?,” Page said. “Does a child being born with a mental or physical defect mean they are not worthy of life? Or does a child who had no say in their father forcing themselves upon a woman deserve to suffer the consequences?” 

Page said that states that chose to ban abortions would have to figure out ways to improve the systems in place to better support mothers that would need to bring their pregnancies to term. 

Many student political organizations released statements following the ruling on Friday. 

“The University of Alabama chapter of Not On My Campus is in resolute opposition to the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, as well as decisions of state lawmakers to ban abortion,” said UA Not On My Campus in a statement posted on Instagram. “We unequivocally believe that every individual who may become pregnant should have full control over their own healthcare decisions, and that this right should not only be granted once their bodies have been violated.” 

The statement also included resources for students, such as the West Alabama Women’s center and the Tuscaloosa SAFE Center. 

The UA chapter of Young Americans for Freedom celebrated the Supreme Court’s decision in an Instagram statement. 

“This is a win for the 63 million innocent babies who could not speak for themselves,” the statement read, alongside photos of pro-life activists and protesters.