Kent State students react to Roe v. Wade decision leak, upcoming decision

Ty Kohler, Reporter

In 1973, the Supreme Court issued a ruling in the benchmark case of Roe v. Wade. The ruling allowed for women to have the right to terminate a pregnancy up until fetal viability, or around 24 gestational weeks.

In 2018, the case of Dobb v. Jackson Women’s Health came to light following Mississippi’s ban on abortions — except in cases of medical emergencies — after the first 15 weeks of pregnancy, a timeline earlier than the one set by the Roe v. Wade precedent.

The case was brought to the Supreme Court in October 2021 after the Mississippi Supreme Court ruled against the state of Mississippi and department health officer, Thomas Dobbs.

In May, a draft of Justice Samuel Alito’s majority opinion was leaked, which stated, “We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled.”

An official ruling is expected to be released prior to the court’s recess, which typically begins either at the end of June or the beginning of July.

If the ruling overturns Roe v. Wade, abortion would become illegal in 26 states. Ohio would be expected to ban abortions within 90 days of the ruling, the average time it takes for a new law to pass.

Students and organizations at Kent State have shared their thoughts on the upcoming ruling.

One group that has spoken on the issue is the Women’s Health Center.

“It would be a terrible thing if the ruling gets overturned,” director Cassandra Pegg-Kirby said. “I feel like it would really set women back on the power to have their voices heard. I really believe it is something that only the person who conceived can be the judge on what is right.”

Individuals have also been vocal about the ruling.

“It’s not fair at all. It is ridiculous to me that a bunch of men get to have power over the choices of women’s bodies,” Jenna Sawyer, a freshman environmental studies major, said. “How can people make a decision on things they can’t experience? It just feels like the wrong people are in control of this situation.”

Another student shared a similar opinion to Sawyer.

“Our body, our choice. Some of the quotes we have gotten from the senate have been absolutely ridiculous,” Rachel Rhodes, a freshman biology major, said. “There was one that said the female body can just not get pregnant if it’s ‘legitimate’ rape. It’s clear there are people who don’t know what they’re talking about here.”

The full quote referenced is from Missouri senatorial candidate Todd Akin.

There are organizations on campus that support the ruling being overturned, such as Kent State’s Students for Life group.

“We believe that everyone has the right to life. No matter how life was conceived, it deserves the chance to live,” Sarah George, a member of the organization, said. “Abortion is murder. You do not have the right to determine what is best for a child who hasn’t gotten a chance yet.”

While the country waits for a ruling to be announced, Kent State provides clubs and organizations on both sides for people to get involved with.

Ty Kohler is a reporter. Contact him at [email protected].