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HCUCSB Responds to the Overturn of Roe v. Wade

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCSB chapter.

Following the overturn of Roe v. Wade on June 24th, which has ended the federal right to an abortion, HCUCSB has given our writers an opportunity to share their thoughts. We encourage everyone to seek necessary aid during this time, whether it be for mental and emotional wellbeing, financial, or reproductive health assistance. Resources will be linked at the end of the article, including places to donate.

Kristi Copeland’s Response

The overturning of Roe v. Wade reminds us that the United States of America is not the land of the free, with liberty and justice reserved for certain people, not all. As I watched the news cover various reactions, some celebrated “life,” while I began to grieve what appears to me as the planned genocide of low-income women and women of color across this country.

When I heard Roe v. Wade was overturned, I thought of how Black women in particular, to this day, do not receive adequate health care due to scientific-racism claims that they could not feel pain during slavery, leading the health care system to disregard many of their concerns. I think of how we criminalized welfare and welfare recipients, who already lack the means for substantial healthcare. I think of how communities of color are subjected to environmental racism, thus disproportionate pollution and health issues; this coupled with the inadequate health care given to women of color can only indicate an increase in both maternal and child health complications and deaths.

I think of our failing foster system and the amount of abuse those children face. I think of how violence against women rose exponentially during the pandemic. I wonder, “what will this country look like when women don’t have any authority over their bodies, and what happens to them?” You think YOU were angry when you were ‘forced’ to wear masks to prevent a virus from spreading and killing more than it already had? Imagine how we feel, where our right to protect ourselves, from a life we do not want or are not ready for, is unreservedly stripped.

We stand naked, exposed, and unable to choose, even for the sake of our own dignity, to cover up, for all our means of shelter and protection are being utterly attacked and destroyed. This is a war on women, but even more so, a genocide and inhumane cruelty on our low-income women and women of color. 

Eva Grunburg’s Response

“We pray that our nation and church leaders continue to preserve the dignity of life,” my primarily white, Catholic, private high school proclaimed in a since-deleted Instagram post from June 26th — just days after Roe v. Wade’s overturning. One of my former teachers noted, “We believe in the sanctity of all human life.”

These words instantly took me back to freshman year, sitting in this teacher’s class, being led in prayer before a test. What I thought was a well-intended prayer of encouragement quickly spiraled into a condemnation of women who “murder” babies as she echoed the “sanctity” of all life. As I faced my test, tears welling in my eyes, I couldn’t even think straight knowing the people around me didn’t understand that people with uteruses should have the right to choose what to do with their bodies. 

Reflecting on this moment, I’m infuriated that I represent a school that would choose the unborn over their current students. When they banned skirts because “male teachers were uncomfortable,” when cases of sexual assault occurred on our campus, when football players made racist remarks like “Catholics vs. Convicts,” where was the demand to uphold the sanctity of those marginalized lives? Where was the outcry for justice? 

The best part? It was a math class. What this painful and emotional discussion had to do with geometry, I still don’t know. 

Ironically enough, my alma mater’s “pro-life” rhetoric revealed their blatant disregard for the human lives right in front of them. Their tone-deaf post struck me yet again with the dystopian state of our country; the loss of women’s fundamental rights is being celebrated. 

Another part of the post stood out to me though, albeit not from the school itself: the alumni. My shock and outrage was matched with over 800 educated, well-thought-out comments, urging the school to delete the insensitive post, and calling for reform. The fire I witnessed within my like-minded peers has inspired me in these harrowing times, and I will do anything in my power to further fuel this fire.

Shannon Rumsey’s Response

After forty-nine years of disagreements from either political party, Roe v. Wade, an important ruling that stands for much more than just abortion, was overturned. This decision has questioned the autonomy of a woman’s reproductive rights and safety. Stress levels have been high following the recent ruling, with 55% “of Americans who[m] consider themselves “pro-choice””.

Many fear that this decision will impact the safety of those around them and the statistics would agree. Before the ruling of Roe v. Wade in 1973, it is estimated that “between 20% and 25% of all pregnancies ended in abortion.” In 2017, there was actually a historic low when it comes to the number of abortions occuring in the United States; Only “[18%] of pregnancies (excluding miscarraiges) in 2017 ended in abortion”.

Seeing that the criminalization of abortion in many states will not decrease the rate at which people receive abortions, it is interesting to note that the rate at which people die via abortion may actually increase. Regardless of the newest Supreme Court decision, abortions have and will always happen, and it is up to the government to decide whether women will die of this procedure or not. We have seen from Nixon’s War on Drugs that criminalizing something will not make it go away, it only hurts the common American. Therefore, those who are “pro-life” will only be seeing the opposite of what they wish for: more death.

Instead of attempting to save a baby’s life through banning abortions, in many cases we will lose both the mother and child. For the year 1930, “abortion was listed as the official cause of death for almost 2,700 women—nearly one-fifth (18%) of maternal deaths recorded in that year” whereas “[t]wo women died from induced abortion in the U.S. in 2018” which accounts for roughly 0.3% of maternal deaths for that year.

With the protection of Roe v. Wade, we saw a dramatic decrease in maternal deaths as a result of abortions, and, interestingly enough, we have even seen a decline in abortions in general.

Sophia Lovell is a third year Philosophy and English double major at UCSB. She is originally from San Diego, but embraces Isla Vista as her second home. Her passions include trying not to kill her houseplants, cold brew, and dismantling the patriarchy.
Eva is Her Campus at UCSB’s Editor in Chief, as well as a third year Communication major at UC Santa Barbara, where she writes about anything and everything she feels is exciting, fascinating, or entertaining. When she isn't writing for Her Campus, she is usually overthinking, working on one of her projects, or listening to Taylor Swift.