17 People of All Ages Share Their Feelings on Roe v. Wade

Photo: Stocksy/ Victor Bordera
You've probably read your fair share of quotes about abortion in the past few weeks. On the night of Monday, May 2, 2022, an unprecedented leak from the news organization Politico revealed an opinion draft authored by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito that detailed the court's intent to overturn the 1973 decision known as Roe v. Wade. (That decision made abortion legal at the federal level.) And in the morning of June 24, it was officially overturned by the Court in a 6-3 vote, removing the constitutional right to abortion that had been legal precedent for nearly 50 years.

Since the leak, many people took to social media to share their experience with abortion, why it's important to them, and how this aspect of reproductive-health and medical-care access affects their lives. Check out the following voices that add to the loud, vigorous, fearful, angry, and urgent response to the collapse of Roe v. Wade.

Quotes about abortion from people of all ages and gender identities

1. Abortion is health care

"Abortion is health care. Abortion is freedom. Abortion is bodily autonomy. A country without this human right is not a free country."

—H.R. Bellicosa, 44, author of  The Punishings, a novel about a world without abortion

2. I wouldn't have a beautiful family now if I hadn't had access to abortion

"Abortion is vital health care. If I didn't have access to safe abortion at 21.5 weeks of gestation when I had a fetus with issues that were 'incompatible with life,' I would not have the beautiful family I have now, and my three beloved girls wouldn't exist."

—Jeni Putalavage-Ross, 45, SVP, Operations

3. This is also much bigger than abortion

"This is truly so much bigger than just abortion, though. If we start talking about the states being able to make any laws they wish for any rights not covered explicitly in the Constitution, that is the equivalent of taking Biblical texts literally. The Bible and the Constitution cannot cover modern life; they are ancient documents. The purpose of the Court has been to interpret the intent of the [Constitution] and be able to extrapolate its meaning for today."
—Margaret, 65, retired pharmacist

4. The Constitution doesn't cover a lot, but we should be able to interpret it for modern life

"The Constitution doesn't cover birth control, health care, interracial marriage, modern media, or even women's or reproductive rights! How can we still have the conversation that women are people, too? If you are not a woman, surely you must care for the well-being and rights of some woman in your life?"

—Kevin, 66, retired elementary school teacher

5. Marginalized people will suffer the most if Roe v. Wade falls

"The people who will suffer the most at the hands of this are communities that are already marginalized, poor people, people of color, and immigrants. Abortion is already hard to access for these communities, and it will just make it harder. It's wrong—alarming. The state shouldn't be allowed to police our bodily autonomy."

—Nakiya, 24, finance

6. My body, my choice

"No law, no piece of paper that is hundreds of years old, will ever have me believe what is right or wrong about what choices I make with my body. My body, my choice."

—Thalia, 20

7. This is why I fight against threats to reproductive freedom

"I've always known what was at stake. That's why my fight against threats to reproductive freedom, including abortion, has always been unyielding. These decisions should've never been left up to the courts. These rights must be secured and protected beyond elections."

—Rep. Renitta Shannon, 42,  Georgia House of Representatives

8. People will die

"People will die because of this."

—Felicia, 20, college student

9. The parents' rights should outweigh those of their fetus

"The mother, or parent, is fully human and should have all her own rights, and those outweigh those of the fetus. If you cannot force her to donate blood to save a life, you should not be able to force her to incubate life."

—Kathryn, 70

10. Abortion means safety

"Abortion to me means safety. Means control. Means equality. Means human rights."

—Anna, 25, copywriter

11. Abortion is your choice

"Abortion is a moral choice. It is an ethical choice. It is your choice. There are no good abortions; there are no bad abortions; there is only the abortion you need. FULL STOP."

—Lizz Winstead, 43, (co-creator/former head writer of The Daily Show) and founder of the non-profit Abortion Access Front

12. Abortion allowed me to have a child

"I see abortion rights as what allowed me to have a child. Yeah, that seems contradictory at the surface, but as a woman who—like so many others—had to put off childbearing until later, I finally managed to get pregnant in my early 40s. And I'd never have dared to try if there was no legal right for me to make decisions freely, with my doctor, about what to do if something went wrong. So I'm a mother now because women here have the right to reproductive freedom. The legal right to safe abortion is not a zero-sum equation; many families owe their existence to that freedom."

— Celestia, 48, PR coordinator

13. Abortions give people the agency and authority over their bodies

"Access to legal, and therefore safe, abortions means that people can have agency and authority over their own bodies. Reversing Roe v. Wade is essentially saying that an embryo or fetus is more valuable than the physical and mental health of the mother (and that the mother isn't smart enough to make that decision on her own)."

—Sandy J. Green, 35, certified lactation counselor and doula

14. Five people are stripping the bodily autonomy away from millions

"Despite knowing that this court was insistent on turning back the clock, I am deeply saddened and furious at the same time. While the rest of the world is moving forward on reproductive justice, we are letting five people strip body autonomy from millions."

—Mary, 49, communications professor

15. As a survivor, I can't imagine what people in Texas are currently going through
(Trigger warning: sexual violence)

"As a rape and abuse survivor, I hate to think of what would have happened had my rape resulted in pregnancy. But I knew back then, even in Texas, that abortion was a viable option for me. It's unimaginable what rape survivors in Texas will go through in today's environment. My heart breaks for them."

— Laurie B. Timms, author of Perks of a Psychotic Break: A Trauma Victim's Guide to Healing

16. Access to abortion is access to women's health care services

"It is a racial and social justice issue that disproportionately affects people of color, people in rural communities, and low-income people who already disproportionately face discriminatory barriers to access adequate health care. People of means will simply travel to states where they can get the care that they want. People of lower-income and socioeconomic status will be forced to have babies that they cannot afford to take care of. As a women's health advocate, I pray for the day when women of all races and socioeconomic backgrounds will have the right to affordable and adequate health care, which includes the right to abortion if she so chooses. This is when our nation will live up to the promise of life and liberty for all."

Karen Arrington,54, founder of the Miss Black USA Pageant

17. Abortions have happened for centuries

"Abortions have happened since people have been able to reproduce, and they will happen until we can't. No law will stop them. But people deserve safe abortions and do not risk legal consequences for making a health decision."

—Lauren, 31, editor

Many experts are discussing the reason for the potential leak from the Supreme Court this week, but some folks are hopeful that public opinion could potentially sway the imminent decision. The above quotes are just a tiny fraction of the overwhelming number of voices being heard about why abortion access is important to them.

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