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OOMbassadors Respond to the Overturning of Roe v. Wade

I felt my stomach sink this morning when being woken up by the chatter in the hallway and hearing my parents discussing that Roe v. Wade had been overturned. I thought I was dreaming still, but soon realized that unfortunately I was now awake, and what I was hearing was real. I am so deeply disgusted by this ruling and am saddened to be living in a country where women do not have the right to be in charge of their own bodies. As a student in Georgia, my university reached out to us today to let us know that this ruling would likely affect the healthcare they can provide faculty, staff, and students. What will be taken away from women next? What else will cause me, as a woman in the United States, and in Georgia, to live in fear not only for myself, but for all of the women around me who will be greatly impacted by this decision. I know this decision has now opened the door for conversations about the validity of other rights. Not only have women’s rights been stripped away from them, but as a woman, I feel a loss of hope as well. The fight will never end, but when can we stop fighting for rights we should not have to fight to have? 

- Rebecca S.

It is truly a scary day when a law that was fought for so heavily, one that protected women and their right to choose, is overturned. While I'm sad and incredibly disheartened for myself, I am more so concerned for the future of women rights, both reproductive and not. I also recognize that I am lucky to live in a state where abortion will remain legal (at least for now!) and recognize that this is a privilege not privy to all women in the united states. I think a lot of us (myself included) are sitting here wondering "what now," and in my opinion, now more than ever, we need to stick together (women supporting other women and men hopping on the bandwagon as well) to fight for our rights, for our future daughters’ rights and for reproductive rights for women across the country. most importantly, know that you are not alone, that so many women across the country feel as you feel now. I don’t think we will create the change we want to right now but hopefully by banning together, we can look towards a brighter female future.

- Lara S.

Here are my first, unedited thoughts on the overturning of Roe v Wade as a nineteen-year-old, white girl from New England: 

Having had access to a doctor and birth control my whole life, the thought of having an abortion seemed nonexistent in my future. I had all the financial resources to prevent an unwanted pregnancy and fund my need for an abortion if I needed one. Roe v. Wade seemed like a safety net I would never need, and most definitely one I took for granted. This isn’t the case for all women in the United States. For them, Roe v Wade was a crucial buffer against carrying an unwanted pregnancy, sometimes subjecting them to a life that the mother could not provide for. It was a defense between women and the siege of patriarchy that we are constantly at battle with. It seemed unmovable, unyielding. 

The overturning of a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion is nothing more than a catastrophic blow to women’s rights delivered by the men in power in this country, and their incessant need to control women, their choices, and their freedoms. “What is the point?” I ask myself. This new development will not stop abortions, but simply stop them from happening safely. Does an American woman’s right to choose really affect a government official? The answer is simple. No, it does not. This ruling stands for the continued oppression of women and those who identify as female. It stands for the continued resentment, control, and hatred of women that festers in the hearts of the patriarchy. And to those women that are pro-life? While you are subject to your own opinion, does the decision of another woman affect you? Again, it does not. Yet I wonder, to those in power, to the ones who make the rules, who are the pillars of the patriarchy. You say you don’t believe in the constitutional right to an abortion. But what of the mistresses you impregnate? Your illegitimate, bastard children? The ones you ignore? The ones you pretend don’t exist? The ones whose mothers you pay to keep quiet or are too scared to take you to court? An abortion, the choice of their existence from the beginning seems quite tempting, doesn’t it? It would certainly save you money… something your mercenary hearts value, do they not? Your wife, the one you say you revere and love beyond measure… what if their life will be compromised by the pregnancy? Her life, according to your laws, is nothing to the half-formed cluster of cells that do not have a brain or a heart. Interesting. Still not convinced? Are you vaccinated? Answer that. If the answer is no, I want you to think about why. To those of you who hear the question “Why do you not want the US government to mandate vaccination, COVID-19 or otherwise?” and answer “because it’s my body and I don’t want one”? You live in a paradox. You cannot be pro-life and believe in the government’s lack of power to mandate vaccines. Your opinion and stances immediately are void.

If you don’t want to get an abortion, then don’t. I will fight for your right to make that choice. But the rules by which you choose to govern your life do not get to have any influence on the way I choose to live my life. I do not care about your beliefs. I believe that you should be able to have your own beliefs and make your own choices, whatever they may be. But those who possess the need to impose their beliefs on others? I will never support you or fight for your right to do so. Abortions are healthcare. 

- Catie S.

This morning, I boarded a flight in New York. I landed two hours later to news that I no longer had rights over my own body, and the world stopped spinning. Unfortunately, I cannot say I was surprised, especially not after the leaking of SCOTUS documents that pointed towards the overturning of Roe v. Wade. I couldn't be surprised after living in a nation that actively voted for Donald Trump, and I certainly couldn't be surprised after living an entire life, though only twenty years long, of not having the same rights and privileges as my male counterparts.

After a few tears shed and a call with my best friend, the world started to spin again, even if on a different axis. But, there are so many people for who the loss of safe and affordable healthcare, namely access to abortions, means that the world will stop spinning. Permanently. To the woman in Texas experiencing a miscarriage but being denied lifesaving treatment for sepsis due to the fetus having a heartbeat, the world will stop spinning. To the eleven year old girl raped and impregnated and forced to carry to term, the world will stop spinning. I am one of the lucky ones who lives and goes to school in states that will uphold abortion rights, at least for the time being. Over half of BIPOC and Latinx Americans live in states with trigger laws, in which abortion is already illegal, and these marginalized communities will bear the brunt of a decision made by five white men and one white woman.

I don't know how to make the people who need to care about this care. I don't know how to explain to the men sitting on the Supreme Court that women are not objects to be pawned in some sick political game. I wish I could end this with a rallying cry to action, to protest, to donate to organizations like Planned Parenthood, and to consider opening your house and hearts to people who may need to travel out of state for access to safe healthcare. I have trouble believing myself right now that anything at all will do much good. For the first time in a long time, I have nothing to say, except, to anyone with a uterus: I'm sorry.

- Peggy H.

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