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If Bodily Autonomy isn’t a Right, Then What Is?

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

In the wake of Roe vs. Wade’s abolishment, I find myself fearing for what comes next. As a woman in a queer relationship, I do not have an imminent fear of an unwanted pregnancy. Although I doubt this was the intent, the Supreme Court has made it a lot more enticing to be in a relationship where you cannot reproduce accidentally. And while I hold this consolation with a sense of light humor, it is merely grasping at strings for comfort in a time where our most basic human rights are being stripped, and without as much as a democratic vote.

The truth is, there is no comfort. I mourn for my fellow humans who will be forced to have pregnancies and will have to carry that trauma from then on. I fear for the children who will be born unwanted and possibly resented. I am even warier of the threat of men, and how rape will have consequences beyond trauma. And I look to our “leaders,” who so easily disregard our rights and livelihoods, and wonder how the hell this is considered a democracy any longer. 

While the dismissal of Roe vs. Wade is bad enough as it is, the principle being set here perpetuates further anxieties. The overturning of judicial precedents puts a lot more rights in question than you might (or would like to) imagine. In the case of Lawrence vs. Texas, a precedent was set that same-sex intercourse is a constitutional right. In Obergefell vs. Hodges, same-sex marriage was defined as a right. Griswold vs. Connecticut declares contraceptive access as a right. Loving vs. Virginia instated interracial marriage as a right. If the Supreme Court can deconstruct judicial precedents at will, all of these rights (and many more that I’m not educated on) will suddenly come into a crashing, dreadful area of questioning. 

Pro-choice carries a heavier weight in this context. In a way, this overruling feels like a war on choice in America: of what choice means and who it belongs to. Intersectionally, we know that time and time again minority, low-income populations will be more affected than anyone by these decisions. We know that those in charge will thrive off of this power play. And we know that we don’t know what will come next. 

This is not to fear-monger. I don’t believe that the Supreme Court’s decision is a slippery slope for our rights; if anything, it may be the push we need to undermine the very system that placed these justices in their position of life-long power. This is more an expression of my intense wake-up call: the land of the free may decide to deliberate my freedoms on a whim. The kids are alright, as they say. I just hope their parents will be alright too. 

Hey all! I'm Madeline, a senior here at USF. I'm a lover of all things astrology, Taylor Swift, crocheting, and cats. When it comes to writing, I enjoy covering topics regarding pop culture, activism, and interesting finds. Feel free to reach out to me via Instagram @madelinereign
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