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Overturning Roe V. Wade Threatens More Than Just The Right To An Abortion

On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court overturned Roe V. Wade – a landmark case passed on January 22, 1973, that solidified the right to abortion and reproductive privacy in the United States. By overturning Roe V. Wade, the right to an abortion is no longer a constitutional right, and is up to individual states to decide, with 22 states likely to impose a ban or severe limits on abortion. However, in the 213-page document published by the Supreme Court, it is written that other cases involving contraception, sexual privacy, and gay marriage may too be up for debate in the US. With today’s landmark ruling, many of us wonder: what does Roe V. Wade being overturned mean for other SCOTUS cases?

Four cases were cited in Justice Thomas’ concurring opinion in the official decision to reconsider in the future: Griswold, Eisenstadt, Lawrence, and Obergefell. Here’s what today’s ruling could mean for the future of other SCOTUS rulings.

griswold v. CONNECTICUT

Passed on June 7th, 1965, Griswold V. Connecticut ensured the right for married couples to use contraception freely without government interference. If this case were overturned, the right for married couples to use contraception –like condoms, the pill, or other forms of birth control – may become illegal. This would threaten the right to marital privacy, and access to contraception may be left up to the states to decide.

Eisenstadt v. baird

Similar to Griswold, Eisenstadt V. Baird extended access to contraception to unmarried couples on March 22, 1972. If overturned, these rights would also be up to the jurisdiction of the states.

Lawrence v. texas

Lawrence V. Texas was passed on June 26, 2003. This case overturned a previous Texas law that criminalized consensual, sexual activity between same-sex couples. If this case is called into question, the right to consensual, sexual privacy may be up for debate on a state-by-state basis, threatening LGBTQIA+ relationships nationwide.

Obergefell v. hodges

The final case that may be called into question is Obergefell V. Hodges. Passed on June 26th, 2015, Obergefell officially legalized same-sex marriage in the United States and nationally recognized marriages that were lawfully licensed and performed out of state. Like with Griswold, Eisenstadt, Lawrence, and Obergefell, overturning this case will end the national recognition of same-sex marriage, and the decision will be left in the hands of the states.

What can we do?

While the fates of these cases are not set in stone, it is important that we continue to inform ourselves about the Supreme Court processes. In addition, there are a variety of ways to become involved in the fight for reproductive and social justice. Whether it’s donating to abortion funds, checking out relevant resources, educating yourself further on how these laws may impact you and others, or voting in November, there are always ways to make your voice heard.

The decision to overturn Roe V. Wade impacts more than just abortion rights: it could very well place gay marriage, access to contraception, and sexual privacy in jeopardy. And while roadblocks continue to be thrown in the way of justice, it’s time we roll up our sleeves and get to work on reinstating equal rights for everyone in the United States.

julianna (she/her) is an associate editor at her campus where she oversees the wellness vertical and all things sex and relationships, wellness, mental health, astrology, and gen-z. during her undergraduate career at chapman university, julianna's work appeared in as if magazine and taylor magazine. additionally, her work as a screenwriter has been recognized and awarded at film festivals worldwide. when she's not writing burning hot takes and spilling way too much about her personal life online, you can find julianna anywhere books, beers, and bands are.