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Roe vs Wade is a monumental decision issued in 1973 by the United States Supreme Court on the issue of laws that criminalized or restricted access to abortions. The Court ruled that a right to privacy, under the 14th Amendment, extended to a women’s right to decided to have an abortion. However, it must be balanced by the state’s wish in regulating abortions. The Court resolved this by declaring that abortion is available up to the third trimester of pregnancy or in order to protect the women’s health but, also protecting the potential of human life. In July of 1976, Planned Parenthood vs Danforth was taken to the Supreme Court to overturn a Missouri law that was requiring a married women to obtain her husband’s permission for an abortion. Harris vs McRae was taken to Court on June 30, 1980, and the verdict upheld the Hyde Amendment to the US Social Securities Act that limits Medicaid funding for abortion to only those who have cases of life endangerment, rape, or incest. In 1989, Webster vs Reproductive Health Services was taken to the Supreme Court and they upheld a Missouri law that imposed restrictions on the use of state funds, facilities, and employees in performing, assisting with, or counseling on abortions. In Hodgson vs Minnesota on June 25, 1990 the Court ruled against a Minnesota law that required minors to notify a parent before getting an abortion.  The justices also ruled that minors have the option to a judicial bypass if parental consent is part of the law. Later, in Planned Parenthood vs Casey in 1992, the Court rejected Roe’s trimester framework and instead stated that a women has the right to abortion until fetal viability. This is defined as the fetus’ ability to live outside the mother’s womb without medical assistance. Additionally, the ruling allows states to place laws that require pre-abortion counseling and waiting periods as long as the laws do not create an undue burden. It also requires minors to get parental consent before receiving abortion in many states. In 2000, Sternberg vs Carhart ruling overturned a Nebraskan ban on partial-birth abortion and 30 other states that had similar laws were also overturned. In 2003, President Bush signed the Partial-Birth Abortion Act, banning late-term pregnancy called partial-birth abortions . The latest Supreme Court ruling in abortion laws was on April 18, 2007, which upheld the Partial-Birth Abortion Act.
Since banning state and federal restrictions on abortion in the US, Roe vs Wade started a nation-wide debate about issues including if and to what magnitude abortion should be legal, who should ultimately decide if abortion is legal, what strategies the Supreme Court should use in constitutional adjudication, and what position should moral and religious views have in politics. This debate still continues today and has divided much of the United States into pro-abortion and anti-abortion activists. 
The Catholic church is anti-abortion and doctors and nurses are not allowed to perform abortions and direct sterilization because its against Catholic morals. In the article, Treatment Denied by Molly M. Ginty, she talks about a young women’s experience with having a miscarriage. She explains how she rushed to the hospital, but because the hospital had just merged with a Catholic hospital her doctor was not allowed to complete her miscarriage. He told her the next nearest hospital was 80 miles away and gave her $400 dollars for a cab because she had no insurance. The article goes on to explain how very common these incidents are. The articles states “They could happen to a women of any income level, religion or state now that Catholic institutions have become the largest not-for-profit source of health-care in the U.S., treating 1 in 6 hospital patients. And that’s because Catholic hospitals are required to adhere to the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services” (Ginty, 2011). These hospitals would rather follow religious teachings then preserve the health of these women. “You don’t have to be a Catholic to end up at a Catholic hospital that refuses you lifesaving care. A Catholic facility might be the only one in your area, and when you expect treatment you may get dogma instead. ‘Religion in America should mean that the church runs the church,’ says an executive for Americans United for Separation of Church and State. ‘It shouldn’t mean the bishops are running your reproductive life.'”(Ginty, 2011).
In the years, since Roe vs Wade thousands of women’s lives have been saved with legal access to abortion. In chapter seven of Women’s Voices, Feminist Visions, it says, “It is estimated that before 1973, 1.2 million US women resorted to illegal abortions each year and that botched illegal abortions caused as many as 5,000 annual deaths”(Mohr, 2015). Before the ruling, illegal abortions endangered women’s health by forcing women to delay the procedure, carry unwanted pregnancies, and seek dangerous, life-threatening abortions. By age 45, at least half of American women will have an unwanted pregnancy and one-third of that will have an abortion. Women who seek abortions come from all racial, ethnic, and socio-economic, and religious backgrounds for a various amount of reasons. Statistics also show that black women are three times as more likely and Latinas are two and a half times more likely than a white women to have an abortion. In the article, From Rights to Justice by Zakiya Luna, she writes that, “The majority of poor and low-income women in the United States are denied access for a variety of reasons including abortion funding bans, bans on the provision of abortion services by government health care facilities, a shortage of abortion providers, and parental involvement laws” (Luna, 2009). It is proven that African American women and Latinas abort more often due to their socio-economic issues with raising children and possibly reduced opportunity of adoption compared to white children. This also shows that we not only need reproductive rights but reproductive justice for everyone. Abortions should be accessible to anyone no matter the race, ethnic, income, or religious background. Women will keep fighting to provide safe and legal abortions to everyone in America not just to those who can afford it.
In the article, Our Bodies, Ourselves by Bell Hooks, she states, “Losing ground on the issue of legal, safe, inexpensive abortion means that women lose ground on all reproductive issues. The anti-choice movement is fundamentally anti-feminist” (Hooks, 2000). Women can individually choose to never have an abortion, but the allegiance to feminist politics means they are still pro-choice, that they support a women’s right to choose if they need an abortion or not. Young women who have always had access to effective contraceptive and never witnessed the tragedies cause by illegal abortions have no idea the powerlessness and vulnerability felt by females that did not have access to reproductive rights. 
Unfortunately, there has been deterioration of women’s rights to abortion since Roe vs Wade, caused by legislation and legal challenges making it difficult and dangerous to obtain legal abortions. Luckily, there has been no ruling yet that says life begins at conception and therefore no overturning of Roe vs Wade. Many institutions and people are limiting legal rights to abortion including laws that restrict poor and young women’s access and refusal clauses, such as pharmacies that will not dispense certain medications if it offends their religious or political beliefs. It also includes bans on rare late term abortion methods that protect women’s health, violent tactics against doctors and patients, and pregnancy crisis centers that mislead women by falsifying their pregnancy information and ultimately dissuading them from accessing abortion. If the Supreme Court were to ever overturn Roe vs Wade, the abortion policy would revert to the states. Many states have imposed “trigger laws” which would make abortion illegal on the state level. The following states are  Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota and South Dakota. In addition, many states never de-criminalized abortion, which would make abortion a criminal act if Roe vs Wade were to be repealed. However, other states have implemented laws in order to protect safe access to abortion if Roe vs Wade becomes invalid. The states that plan to protect abortion are California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, and Washington. Reproductive rights discussions are continually needed to understand the basis of how important it is for females to keep their reproductive rights and expand them in today’s world. Reproductive rights and justice are needed in order to protect and sustain our freedom as females.