By Desiree Smith
Is this the holy grail moment that we all have been waiting for? On June 24, 2022, many lives changed forever. This was the day that Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court, denying the once constitutional right to abortions and eliminating federal standards on abortion access, mainly impacting marginalized people, including women of color, transgender men, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming persons of color who already struggle to access health care, more likely to obtain more abortions and lack transportation or finances to escape to another state to get an abortion. Due to the absence of a federal standard, this allows for each state to establish its laws protecting or restricting abortion. These laws range from complete abortion bans with criminal penalties to abortion protections that include funding for clinics and legal protections for clinicians. Now abortion is banned in at least ten states including Texas, Alabama, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and more, while other states are banning abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, which includes Ohio and Utah.
The world was in great shock. The rights that they have had for nearly 50 years to their own reproductive health care decisions, privacy, autonomy, and freedom were gone, leading to the issue of ending women’s rights in total. It led to an uproar, leading President Biden to step in just two weeks after. On July 8, 2022, President Biden signed an Executive Order protecting access to reproductive healthcare services, providing help to cover the costs for women to travel to receive abortions in states where the procedure remains legal, encouraging states to write rules so state Medicaid plans could cover certain expenses for the travel. The order ensures healthcare providers do not discriminate against women based on pregnancy. At this moment, this executive order is allowing women some of their rights back to their bodies. As a way to provide more autonomy, the Biden administration is considering declaring a public health emergency to protect access to abortion pills, but this could cause a prosecution of physicians in states where the procedure is banned.
Overall, the action taken by President Biden to regain the stabilities of his voters and marginalized people shows his companionship for the rights of women. He stepped in and saved us, making his actions become a holy grail moment. The action taken will secure ‘women’ their reproductive decisions, giving them the chance to have their rights back, leading to Congress changing and instituting a new federal standard that helps women instead of controlling them.
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Biden, Joe. “Fact Sheet: President Biden to Sign Executive Order Protecting Access to Reproductive Health Care Services.” The White House, The United States Government, 8 July 2022, https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/07/08/fact-sheet-president-biden-to-sign-executive-order-protecting-access-to-reproductive-health-care-services/.
The New York Times. “Tracking the States Where Abortion Is Now Banned.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 24 May 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2022/us/abortion-laws-roe-v-wade.html.