Why College Women Feel Midterm Elections Are The Time To Protect Reproductive Rights

It’s a fact that elections impact us all, and they can have some serious consequences. And for women in 2018, November’s midterm elections are super important. The stakes are higher than ever as the outcome will certainly affect how the Trump administration will proceed with their assault on women’s reproductive rights. 

The retirement of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy at the end of July has placed abortion rights in the spotlight of this years political elections. President Trump’s second nominee for U.S. Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh, is for overturning Roe v. Wade, which is the 1973 landmark decision that has provided women with the option of legal and safe abortions. During Trump’s campaign, he promised to appoint anti-abortion judges to repeal the case, which leads to the possibility of abortions being illegal again in the United States. 

We are still fighting for our abortion and reproductive rights today, despite the legal decision being made 45 years ago.

While a number of states are passing laws to protect women’s access to safe, legal abortions, a large number of states would make abortion illegal almost immediately if Roe v. Wade was overturned. There has already been a number of attacks against abortion rights in recent years. In 2018 alone, states like Mississippi and Louisiana have passed laws banning abortions after 15-weeks, and Iowa passed laws banning abortions after 6-weeks. The midterms are incredibly crucial to the fate of our reproductive rights because it all starts with electing state legislators who have our best interest in our right to choose.

Her Campus asked college women why they were ready to fight for their right to choose in the 2018 midterm elections. Here’s what they had to say: 

"The Trump administration is making scary strides in the direction of removing and important right for everyone, especially females. Holding a majority in both houses, as well as the Supreme Court, the threat to overturn Roe v Wade is looming larger every day. Trump has also supported punishing doctors who perform abortions, a legal medical procedure. As an aspiring physician, I do not believe that the morals of this administration belong in a medical decision between a woman and her doctor. Also, having a long and intense road ahead of me, I fully understand that there are situations not conducive to having another human being dependent on you. While preventative measures are always better for everyone, they are not failsafe and if someone, for whatever reason, does not use them, the 'punishment' of forcing a child upon someone who does not want it or cannot care for it should not be one confined by the government. In addition, many pro-life proponents are also staunchly against providing effective, affordable birth control or federally mandated comprehensive sex education, which would eliminate much of the problem. The same people are against social programs, which would ease the burden of raising a child. As of right now, women are fortunate enough to be able to get safe, legal abortions for unintended, unwanted, or dangerous pregnancies. Overturning Roe v Wade would not eliminate abortions in America, it would simply pose an increased risk to women who would have to go to get an illegal and unregulated pregnancy termination." - Arianna, Temple University

"As women it should be up to us to make the final decision of what we do with our bodies," - @_khelyn_

"Overturning Roe v Wade would not eliminate abortions in America, it would simply pose an increased risk to women who would have to go to get an illegal and unregulated pregnancy termination."

"Birth control is necessary, and you shouldn't stop women from getting it," - @paloma.renteria

"Reproductive things shouldn't have anything to do with politics. It's her choice, and it's her body." - @shadow23march

"To make all forms of birth control available to women and leave it up to them to use it," - @yolanypeace

"This year's midterm election, I will be voting to protect the right to choose, and to expand access to reproductive healthcare. Whle the overturn of Roe v Wade will not immediately ban abortion in all states, it will likely lead to the elimination of certain abortion rights protections. This will have a serious impact on women, especially women of color, nationwide," -anonymous, The College of New Jersey 

"If viagra is paid for by the government so should abortions and period supplies," - @mira_sschwarz

"For all these men to stay the fuck out of it???" -@rachelhansell

"HANDS OFF," - @izzyazaleaxo

"I have grown up in a time of empowerment, enlightenment, and change. Women throughout the country and throughout the world have raised me to find strength and beauty within myself, within my mother, within my body. It is an incredible time to be in this world. In symmetry with this rising surge of resilience and fortitude among women, however, I have experienced an angry, uninformed backlash from many of those who hold dominance in this country and in the government that claims to represent us. These individuals — threatened, maybe, by the unfolding “power of the people”, and bolstered by centuries of systemic supremacy — now actively seek to strip us of our various rights- bodily autonomy, sexual liberation, political representation. One of these individuals is Brett Kavanaugh, the recent recipient of President Trump’s Supreme Court judge nomination. In 2003, he privately (a.k.a.: cowardly) challenged the permanence of the unprecedented Roe v. Wade decision — which granted the right to an abortion — when he argued in an email leaked to the New York Times that the decision wasn’t necessarily “settled law of the land.” Kavanaugh didn’t realize that, in years to come, this generation of resistors would grow to fight back. I remember vitality and sparks as I marched with other young people from across Massachusetts to demand gun reform.

I remember vitality and sparks as I marched with other young people from across Massachusetts to demand gun reform.

 Joining with the League of Women Voters and other political advocacy groups, we registered over six hundred young people to vote at our march. For the first time, I felt that I contained power, capability and certainty.  Surrounded by political energy and promise, we shared in conversations about racial justice, police brutality, indifference and change for hours after the rallies and marches had finished. I have always been excited and empowered by the tenacity and vibrance that young people hold. Though perhaps naive, we occupy a certain space of optimism and perspective that has worn away from older generations. I believe with certainty that young people, when given the right tools, have a profound capacity to connect, to create, and to lead. During these midterm elections, I intend to use that capacity. There has never been a moment better than this to fight hard and fight on. I believe in the power of young people, and especially in the power of young women, who have watched their mothers and grandmothers work through the struggle for a better future and intend to do the same. I believe that my generation is the generation to remind this country of the power and preciousness of democracy. Only by voting - by making our individual voices known and heard - can we truly participate in the fundamental system of democratic election. Years of indifference and ignorance are behind us. The questions we ask and the decisions we make this November will define our values as individuals and as a nation. It is essential that we are informed, that we are educated, and most of all, that we are participants in a democracy that represents and supports. This is our commitment: to engage, to voice, and to empower. This is our responsibility: to vote. " - Charlotte Lowell, March For Our Lives Boston activist

Want to know more about how young people are taking on the midterm elections? Check out our Youth Vote hub.