The Future of Roe v. Wade


photo by Encyclopedia Britannica

Thousands of Americans all around the world protest to protect Roe v. Wade

by Ye Ji Jong, Editor-In-Chief

Recently, Politico broke the news that there were draft opinions circulating in the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, a Supreme Court ruling that protected abortion rights. This caused massive upheaval all around the country, with women protesting that their bodily autonomy and rights were infringed upon. Most importantly, many people speculate that the overturning of Roe v. Wade sets precedent for overturning other issues like same-sex marriage. 

As a response, Democrats mobilized and attempted to pass legislation to protect abortion rights on a federal level. 

POLITICO reports that, “In a 49-51 vote, the Senate rejected the Democratic legislation, with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and all Republicans voting against the measure. While the outcome was no surprise (and mirrored a similar vote on abortion protections the Senate took in February), Majority Leader Chuck Schumer suggested the court’s draft opinion, published by POLITICO last week, had “raised the stakes.” 

The failed vote shows a few things. First, it’s an example of the constraints Democrats face in a 50-50 Senate. It requires all Democrats to fully unite on pressing issues, regardless of their liberal political spectrum. Second, it calls for the question of the filibuster. While the possible reversal of Roe has some senators calling for an end to the filibuster to pass abortion rights legislation, there’s zero chance of that happening as shown from Manchin and Sinema.. Further, even if they could kill or amend the filibuster, Democrats still don’t even have a simple majority. 

Many Senators claimed that despite their support for abortion, they felt as if this legislative bill was too expansive. 

POLITICO states, “Both Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who support abortion rights, opposed the Democratic bill. They see that legislation as too expansive and are instead pushing a narrower alternative that would codify the Roe and Casey decisions the Supreme Court is expected to overturn.”

This political and judicial battleground is high stakes and extremely controversial and polarized. The future of Roe v. Wade is up in the air, leaving millions of Americans teetering on their seats.