By Mia Kerner and Alena Visnovsky
Millions of Americans have lost their fundamental right to have an abortion. As of today, Friday, June 24, the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, which has protected the right to choose for nearly 50 years.
As of today abortion is still legal in Michigan, but that could change due to pending court action. Meanwhile,13 states are projected to criminalize abortions within the next few weeks, each of which making the decision as disconnected, individual systems of government.
According to the New York Times, nearly half of the states are expected to ban abortion over the course of the next few months, although “many states will continue to allow them, and some have even begun making provisions to help serve women who live in states that are likely to restrict abortion.”
Though the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade was a 6-to-3 decision in the Supreme Court, there are many politicians, including Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., who believe that overruling was a hastily made, brash decision.
Roberts called the decision to overrule Roe “a serious jolt” to the legal system, as he had previously suggested a more incremental approach to the issue in December, pulling to uphold the Mississippi law without completely overturning Roe. Robert’s attempt at a compromise was ultimately unsuccessful, leading to his contribution to the majority vote that occurred today.
In an interview with The Washington Post, Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) stated that the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe was “ill-considered” and would lead to “political chaos” during a time where the U.S. is more unstable than ever.
“This ill-considered action will further divide the country at a moment when, more than ever in modern times, we need the Court to show both consistency and restraint,” Collins said.
Members of both parties appear to find fault in the court’s ruling.
In a livestream from the White House on Friday, President Biden addressed the nation, stating that in order to undo the ruling of the Supreme Court, it is necessary for Congress to “restore the protections of Roe v. Wade as federal law,” explaining that it is the job of the American public to “elect officials who will do that.” He assured American voters that “this year, Roe is on the ballot.”
Biden said, “It must be very clear that the health and life of the women of this nation are now at risk. Make no mistake, this decision is a culmination of a deliberate effort over decades to upset the balance of our law.”
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer released a series of tweets throughout the day, including her full statement.
“I’ve filed a motion urging the Michigan Supreme Court to immediately take up my lawsuit to protect abortion for Michigan women,” Whitmer wrote. “I will fight like hell to protect every Michigander’s right to make decisions about their own bodies.”
Conversely, the Right to Life of Michigan president Barbara Listing released a statement today.
“This monumental day gives the states the ability to restore legal rights to the unborn hopefully, in turn, ceasing the unjust slaughtering of the innocent in our country,” Listing stated. “We stand by our justices and thank them for their courage and wisdom in overruling a law that has plagued our society for the past 50 years.”
The Right to Life of Michigan Legislative Director Genevieve Marnon spoke on the legislation side.
“Right this second, nothing’s changed yet because Planned Parenthood filed the lawsuit Planned Parenthood vs. Attorney General,” Marnon said in an interview with The Collegiate.
Regarding the case, on May 17 the judge granted a preliminary injunction to Planned Parenthood which would stall the effect of Michigan’s 1931 abortion ban (first enacted in 1846) if Roe v. Wade was overturned.
Now that Roe v. Wade has been struck down, that preliminary injunction is preventing the 1931 abortion ban from being enforced in Michigan today.
At Grand Rapids Community College, Student Life, ODEI, and Counseling and Career Development staff are meeting next week to plan a talkback session for students about the Supreme Court ruling.
“I do think that my priorities and my work are helping every student feel safe and comfortable on campus,” said Lina Blair, GRCC Director of Student Life and Title IX Coordinator.
The Collegiate reached out to Planned Parenthood officials Friday, but did not hear back.