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Northern Iowan

The student news site of the University of Northern Iowa

Northern Iowan

The student news site of the University of Northern Iowa

Northern Iowan

Over talking about ovaries

Pro-choice opinion
Opinion+Columnist+Bailey+Klinkhammer+stresses+the+importance+of+reproductive+health+and+freedom+in+a+post-Roe+world.
COURTESY
Opinion Columnist Bailey Klinkhammer stresses the importance of reproductive health and freedom in a post-Roe world.

It has been 582 days since the landmark case Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court of the United States. Since then, 20 states have accelerated their limitations on abortion or almost absolutely banned it, 15 states have passed legislative actions to protect abortion, 61 pregnancy clinics have closed nationwide and the Northern Iowan has now  published six articles concerning reproductive rights. Roe v. Wade and the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization have been hotly contested in the 582 days since the Supreme Court passed down their decision.What’s going on is directly fighting against safe reproductive health. It contributes to the cycle of poverty, and isolates those who seek reproductive support. It’s past the time to discuss whether or not overturning Roe v. Wade was right or wrong. Right now, it’s time to prepare for the future.

As of right now, in 20 states, access to abortion is nearly entirely halted. These states include Texas, Idaho, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Missouri and Alabama, among other states. But these states are past targeting abortion. But, let’s be clear. Those who are against abortion are not on the side of the unborn, like they claim. They are against basic reproductive health, comprehensive sex education, LGBTQ+ rights and funding public education. These states, and the lawyers that defend them, the Alliance Defending Freedom, are onto their next victim: birth control. The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), as according to their website, is designated as “one of the leading Christian law firms committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, marriage and family, parental rights, and the sanctity of life … ADF is one of the nation’s most respected and successful United States Supreme Court advocates. We have played various roles in 74 Supreme Court victories. Since 2011, ADF has represented parties in 15 victories at the Supreme Court. These victories have been on behalf of pastors, churches, religious organizations, college students, family-owned businesses, pro-life pregnancy centers, and many others.” After destroying abortion rights nationwide, the ADF has their sights set on making access to regulated birth control even harder. In Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., the Supreme Court ruled that “closely held corporations” have the right to deny birth control coverage through their health insurance to their employees. The lawyers of the ADF aided in this movement. Former CEO of the Alliance Defending Freedom, Alan Sears, is quoted as saying, “We are on a winning trajectory … It may be that the day will come when people say the birth-control pill was a mistake,” in an interview with the New Yorker. 

In September of 2022, in “A Fight for Our Rights” published by the Northern Iowan, I wrote, “This decision is a warning. If the organizational leadership that was elected to represent the will of the people fails once again to heed these warnings from the Supreme Court, the civil rights and liberties granted by the 14th Amendments will slowly begin to disappear.” Even two years ago, it was plain to see: this is not about the life of the unborn. It is not about fetuses. It never was. This is about control. It’s about shame. It’s about fear. It’s about systemic oppression. The conversation around pro-life versus pro-choice is almost moot at this point, because we are well past this argument over women’s bodily autonomy. As a country, we have to move past that argument to focus on what rights are left to protect. Protecting access to birth control, protecting and promoting a comprehensive sex education, and protecting the pregnancy centers that are left as resources to women are vital. The conversation around reproductive health is no longer simply the question of whether you’re pro-choice or pro-life, it’s about whether or not you support medical trearment for reproductive health as a whole. 

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