Questions to Ask Yourself and Your Legislators
Roe v. Wade was officially overturned, turning the legalization of and restrictions on abortion over to the states, many of which are now scrambling to figure out how to legislate it (if they didn’t have so-called “shotgun” laws ready to go as soon as it overturned).
Now is the time to look at the hard questions that the overturning of Roe v. Wade brings up to determine your stance (or more accurately your spectrum of acceptability regarding your stance) and then see how your legislators measure up. State elections are up in November so now is the time to research candidates and even reach out to them to determine their stance on these and other vital issues to decide whom you will be voting for. In addition, contacting them and informing them of your stances on key legislation is vital to ensuring your voice is heard and hopefully accounted for when they vote on legislation. So, even if your pick doesn’t/ didn’t make it past the primaries or doesn’t win, keep informing them of your opinion on different matters. They are supposed to represent their constituents (the people of their state/ district), not their own interests. They work for us, so inform them of your opinions so they at least have the data, though your only recourse if they don’t use it is typically to not re-elect them when the time comes.
But, first, what was the ruling in Roe v. Wade? And how has the law changed now that it has been overturned? Roe v. Wade didn’t just magically say women could have an abortion. Like any Supreme Court case, they had to prove whether or not the issue applied to rights given to American citizens in the Constitution and if the issue was something the federal government had a right to regulate (or not) based on its powers given in the Constitution.
Roe v. Wade ruled that the government had no right to provide undue regulation on a woman’s decision to have an abortion before viability of the fetus (defined as 28 weeks originally and eventually moved back to possibly as early as 24 weeks though each case is dependent on individual factors); after viability, it was up to the states, with care for the health of the mother and fetus in mind. This decision was based on the woman’s right to privacy (established…