Consequences of overturning Roe v. Wade

TURNING IN THEIR GRAVES: The nine justices that gave the 7-2 verdict on Roe v. Wade in 1973. Wikipedia Commons

Jack Wolfsohn | News Editor

May 15, 2022

Roe v. Wade‘s possible overturning took over headlines, putting forth a scary precedent for the future of sexual rights and freedoms. The idea that women’s rights are under attack is reaffirmed by red states taking lengths to draft laws to ban abortions. With expectations for protecting abortion access low, what should the public expect next?

The upending of Roe v. Wade relates to so much more than abortion and women’s rights to bodily autonomy. “Overturning Roe v. Wade could also mean [increased difficulty in accessing] birth control, so it affects more than just women and gay people,” junior Ryan Savoie said.

There are underlying implications in the uprooting of Roe v. Wade that allows the Supreme Court and the Republican party to have control over certain civil rights. In the draft, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito references two cases regarding gay rights and argues that the “flawed” reasoning used in Roe is identical to the interpretation that protects gay rights and a person’s right to privacy. Alito’s conclusion on the invalid analysis foreshadows the eerie possibility of the Supreme Court attacking gay rights alongside abortion access. How much further will this actually go?

Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, passed last month, may be the perfect loophole in the system for Republicans to rely on. In the media, most Republicans said that the bill had nothing to do with homosexuality and everything to do with preventing the sexualization of children.

However, the bill says little about the sexualization of children and mostly discusses the banning of sexual identification and orientation in the classroom between kindergarten and third grade. While it may be the Bible Belts’ goal to rid America of homosexuality, there’s another side to the “Don’t Say Gay” law: the defunding of public schools. 

Once a lawsuit against the “Don’t Say Gay” law is put forth, it’ll be shot straight up to the Supreme Court, which will likely rule in favor of the law, reaffirming its constitutionality. Of course, the Supreme Court has ruled that many other cases involving impediments on gay rights were unconstitutional, and it would make sense for the “Don’t Say Gay” law to be viewed in the same light, but this is unlikely to happen given the court’s composition.

With the Supreme Court’s blessing, citizens will continue to be allowed to sue any school they believe is breaking the new law. If any Florida parent even suspects that teachers are acknowledging sexual identification and orientation in the classroom, they can sue the public school, get the teacher fired, and fine the school thousands of dollars.

No money for public schools means no public school teachers, no public school libraries, and no public school education for students. The least-trained teachers, most-lacking educational material, and poorest classrooms are the result of defunded public schools. Republicans want private schools to dominate the education system in the South and across the country. Of course, the public education system will still be around, but it will exclusively teach students who can’t pay for private school.

Tritons weighed in on the implications of Florida’s new law. “Do Republicans want to bring back segregation or something? There’s no purpose for private schools to be the leading educational system unless it’s to separate people,” junior Christian McCleary said. “There are religious private schools, but there’s already so many that anyone who can afford it can already choose to go. This is forcing people to go even if they don’t want to.”

The expected overturning of Roe v. Wade has already started a domino effect that ultimately divides America. The Supreme Court also decided to go straight to the pinnacle case in Roe v. Wade. It could have began with any of the gay rights cases, considering its current arguments, but the only reason it’s advantageous to start with Roe v. Wade is that it applies to 50% of all Americans. While the protesting is going to be massive, after it’s over a much smaller percentage of people will be standing up for gay rights. In the same way that white women kept Black women away from protests and rallies in the early 20th century and then felt too exhausted to fight for Black women until 1965, America will overlook gay rights regardless of a win or loss with Roe v. Wade.

TEXAS GOVERNOR Greg Abbott trying to overturn Plyler v. Doe from 1982, which declared immigrant children are allowed to attend public education in the US. Wikipedia Commons

It seems like America is moving backward. With abortions becoming illegal in half of the US, contraceptives possibly becoming illegal, and sexual education in total decline from lawsuits against public schools, it’s hard to be hopeful for the future. It seems unlikely that these cases, if overturned, will ever be able to become law rather than just a Supreme Court ruling. 

Editor’s note: This is an opinion article and represents the opinions of the writer, solely. This is not the opinion of San Clemente High School or the Triton Times.

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