Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

The Reality of Abortion Accessibility, after the Overturning of Roe v. Wade

Jake Nelson
Protestors gather at Cal Anderson Park in Capitol Hill, joining nationwide protests on Saturday, May 14, in support of abortion rights.

After passing one of the strictest anti-abortion bills in the post Roe era, the Texas Supreme Court has seen cases challenging the decision. 

Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court last June, passing the responsibility regarding the legality of abortions to the states. Texas voted to pass a bill banning abortion from the moment of conception. The impact of Roe v. Wade reaches further than just Texas. Since June 2022, multiple states have passed legislation regulating abortion. Opponents of this new legislation, including Fourth-year Nursing Major Sofia Nakhnikian-Weintraub, president of the Students for Reproductive Justice club at Seattle University, were outraged. 

“Abortion is a basic part of reproductive healthcare,” Weintraub said. “Regardless of the legality of abortion, the [abortion] rates never change.”

Failure to comply with the law could mean jail time for physicians. Elizabeth Gabzdyl, director of the Seattle U nurse midwifery program, touched on how the specificity of the bill has left many doctors unable to perform their job adequately. 

“They know what the patient needs, but they are unable to provide it,” Gabzdyl said.

Cox v. Texas is a more recent case that has caught the attention of the media. Kate Cox, a mother of two living in Dallas, has found herself at the crossroads of Texas’ anti-abortion legislation. Cox sought a termination of her pregnancy through her physician after learning her fetus was diagnosed with a fatal condition that could result in complications for her. Cox’s physician appealed to Texas’ Supreme Court. The state ultimately ruled in Cox’s favor, but by thi point, she had already undergone an abortion procedure in another state.

The state claims the fault does not lie in the laws, but in the medical professional’s interpretation of it.

Doctors are left in a state of confusion; threatened with jail time if they do not comply, or the possibility of not being able to fully serve their patients if they cannot get them the treatment they need. 

Students on campus weighed in on the battle against reproductive rights across the nation.

Political Science Major Kayla Downing and Sociology Major Gina Parker, both third-years at Seattle U, were asked about the state of reproductive freedom nationwide.  

“As much as I say I’m surprised, I’m also kind of not,” Parker said. “It’s a continuing of [lawmakers] pushing the limits and testing the waters and seeing how much they can get away with,” Downing said, concerned over the Supreme Court’s decisions. 

Downing provided insight into the politics at play that continue the cycle of oppression.

“It’s not surprising though, as long as an oppressed group exists, the oppressor will use whatever tools they can to make things like that an oppressed group does. ” Downing said. “It doesn’t surprise me, our laws being super Christian.”

Parker expressed her initial shock and displeasure when Roe v. Wade was overturned in June and the sequence of events to follow. 

“Roe v. Wade, at least when I was growing up, was not something I would be worried about. But, when that got overturned it just felt like very monumental. A lot of people realized when that happened ‘Oh what else can [conservative lawmakers] get away with if they got that?’ It’ll just continue and continue,” Parker said.

With repercussions of Roe v. Wade rippling across the nation, the implications of the decision have far-reaching impacts that affect many citizens. 

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Jake Nelson, Director of Photography

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