Roe v. Wade: Growing Blurred Lines in Women’s Empowerment and Safety

In 1973, history was made when the US court ruled that abortion would be legalized in Roe v Wade. Women already felt they owned their bodies and the new law only reinforced that mindset. The law then had to descend to other states which in turn passed their abortion laws around Roe v Wade.

Pro-life lawyers were obviously not at all amused by this decision, but for pro-choice lawyers, the law was in the right order. Then almost half a century later, Roe v Wade is canceled and so many questions are being asked. Once again, a woman must sit and wait while others determine what to do with her own body.

A few months after the reversal, the state of Ohio announced a bill that would allow women to sue men for unwanted pregnancies. Although the two situations are very different and probably unrelated, one thing runs through them; women’s security and empowerment.

Legislators always want to put in place laws that promote a woman’s individuality, security and power. New legislation in Ohio is an example; to empower the woman and hold the man accountable, but how far is too far?

When it comes to women’s safety, the reversal of Roe v Wade blindly illuminates how, depending on who is in charge of affairs, women’s safety will either be ensured or ignored.

While Pro-Life advocates are excited about the reversal, perhaps some, especially women, should sit down and think about what happens when a mother is in danger and the only thing would save is an abortion. Repealing the law leaves women susceptible to ectopic pregnancies, rape and other pregnancy complications requiring life-threatening abortions. A line must be drawn at some point. Two steps forward cannot be a hundred steps back.

49 years ago, Roe v Wade gave women the option and permission to have an abortion if that is what they choose. An aversion to it just means you don’t put yourself in that situation.

Still in the 21st century and yet women still have to fight for their right to do what they want with their own bodies. It does not appear that their safety is assured here. From now on, women who would like to have an abortion would go through illegal and dangerous means to do so.

Let’s take a look at the other side of the coin, the empowerment of women. While Ohio may assume they empower women and hold irresponsible men accountable, they actually promote inequality.

“It takes two to tango” they say. So if two consenting adults have sex and out of all the options available to them in terms of preventing pregnancies, eventually an “unwanted” pregnancy occurs and one party has the right to sue ; how does this promote equality?

Irresponsible men who shun pregnancies should be held accountable, yes, but what about blurry lines?

What if the man did everything he could to make sure there was no pregnancy because he wasn’t ready to start caring for the children? But the lady did not want that but wanted to keep the pregnancy. You have to draw a line under the excesses.

Empowering women should not open a Pandora’s box and disadvantage another sex. Women’s safety should be ensured regardless of the opinions of some other people.

Rolling back the laws sets an entire generation back and opens them up to the defense and protests their ancestors must have thought were made and dusted off. The current climate of women’s empowerment and security around these issues leaves blurry lines that could haunt society.

Why overthrow a law that settled all issues and gave all women equal rights with their bodies because a group of people were “relentlessly” defending it? Security is no longer assured if only pro-life women are covered.

Again, giving women the power to sue men for unwanted pregnancies when sex takes two people who also have the ability to prevent pregnancies does not help empowerment. This gives room for revenge costumes and much more.

While empowering women and ensuring their safety is of the utmost importance, lines must be clear to avoid ambiguity and unequal opportunities.

Mara R. Wilmoth