In the recent Dobbs vs. Jackson Case, the Supreme Court ruled to overturn the historic Roe v. Wade ruling, and a variety of emotions have erupted as a result. Many are angry and scared. Many women believe they no longer have rights – that they won’t be able to obtain an abortion without breaking the law. The truth is, the ruling didn’t actually make abortion illegal. It just sent the decision back to the state courts. Allow us to explain…
What Did the Supreme Court Do In Dobbs?
Let’s start with the legal aspect of the Dobbs decision, and what it actually means.
First, it is important to remember that, prior to 1973, the legality of abortion was determined by state law. The fact is, abortion was either illegal or greatly restricted in nearly every state in the United States.
But in 1973, the Supreme Court (at that time,made up of nine men and zero women) took up the case of Roe v. Wade, which challenged a Texas law that made it illegal to obtain an abortion. The Court, in a 7-2 decision, declared that the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution gave a woman a “right” to obtain an abortion.
The decision was controversial from the beginning, and a majority of both pro-abortion and pro-life constitutional law commentators felt that the Roe court’s opinion was likely not constitutional at all.
49 years later, in June 2022, the Supreme Court corrected its error, and issued the Dobbs decision. In a 6-3 decision, the Court (now with 3 women on the Court) overturned Roe v. Wade and held that the Fourteenth Amendment says nothing about abortion, and that no other provision of the Constitution supports a right to abortion, either.
Consequently, the Dobbs Court stated, the issue is not one that can be resolved by the Constitution. Instead, it is a matter that must be decided by the various states through democratic processes–in other words, by the voters acting through their elected representatives in their state governments, just as it was prior to Roe v. Wade.
So even though it’s being claimed loudly, the Dobbs decision does not actually outlaw abortion. It simply allows states to regulate abortion again. This means that a woman’s legal rights will depend on what state she lives in, just as it does for many other rights.
It should be remembered that abortion laws were different in every state even under Roe. For example, Arizona’s abortion laws were always more restrictive than California’s.
To sum it up – in many states, the law is exactly the same as it was before the Dobbs decision. In others, it is, has been, or will be changed to be more restrictive than what Roe would have permitted.
How Does the Dobbs Decision Affect A Woman’s Rights in Arizona?
In Arizona, there is a great deal of confusion as to what abortion laws currently apply. There is a state law that existed before Roe v. Wade (which has never been repealed) that banned abortion altogether. When Roe was decided in 1973, enforcement of that law was suspended. Now, it is unclear whether the injunction needs to be lifted before that law can be enforced again.
To complicate matters, in March of 2022, the Arizona legislature passed a law that would severely restrict abortion after 15 weeks gestation. However, that law is not yet in effect, and the language of the law does not specifically repeal the old law.
There’s still a lot left to be decided.
As a precaution, many doctors have stopped offering abortions in Arizona, as they are subject to criminal penalties if they break that old law. The only thing that’s clear is that the Arizona state government will have to resolve this problem quickly, so that women will know what their rights are.
Women Deserve Better
One fact that doesn’t hinge on a legal decision is that women deserve better. They deserve to know their options and their medical rights. They deserve to be loved, no matter what decision they make. And they deserve to be informed.
At Choices, we believe in empowering women. One way we do this is by providing the knowledge and resources of her options when faced with an unplanned pregnancy. Our goal is to be a sign of hope and support in a time of uncertainty. We know what the world is trying to tell her. Too often, it says “You can’t do this.” We boldly defy that.
We believe women can do great things, especially when surrounded with the love and support we all deserve and owe each other. So we don’t just confess this truth, we practice it. We’re here to help however we can – be it medical care, life-skill classes, post-abortive healing, and more.
Greater Love After Roe
Women deserve a greater love than what Roe v. Wade and pro-abortion proponents show them, which is no love at all, but a degradation of their womanhood. The gift of new life to a young woman is not a sign of failure, but a blessing, a tangible sign of God’s love and mercy. And if God loves her so much, how can we do less?
This new life is one of the greatest miracles, a miracle that is literally impossible without – you guessed it – a woman! Women’s rights have been misinterpreted and undervalued for far too long. It’s time to change that.
If you have an unplanned pregnancy, know that there is a place where you and your baby will be welcomed with open arms. If you’re seeking some help and support, contact Choices today.