Letters to the Editor: Readers react to court overturning Roe v. Wade

·9 min read

On June 24, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, eliminating the constitutional right to abortion nationwide. We invited readers to share their thoughts on this historic decision. These are some of their responses:

Dangerous court decision poses

well-known risks for women

I am devastated by the possible consequences of this Supreme Court decision.

I was 18 years old when Roe v. Wade went into effect. Women had been dying in back-alley abortion clinics for years and women were effectively second-class citizens.

I do not want a return to those times for my great nieces, nephew and my friends' children.

Susan Jackson, Austin

Where is accountability for men

in the Supreme Court's decision?

With all the discussion about abortion, and the fact that the burden of the decisions is on women, the burden of the search for answers is on women, the burden of the possible punishment is on women, and on, and on. What about the men?….shouldn’t the other half responsible for the pregnancy also be "punished”?

Hector Ruiz, Austin

Judges, politicians should not make

decisions about womens' health

The Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Roe does not “restore” the right to life. It removes from a female of child-bearing age the right to choose between her own life and the life of a fetus and gives that choice to politicians.

Politicians will determine if she must carry her father’s baby or a rapist’s; if she must have a child when she might be, technically, still a child; if she must put off life-saving medical treatment at the potential cost of her life; if she must die when something goes wrong in the birthing process.

Abortion decisions are heartbreaking. Complex. Situation-specific. Women do not make them frivolously. Politicians have no place in this process. The Supreme Court has not righted a legal or moral wrong. It has elevated fetal rights above female rights, put female lives at risk and done irreparable damage to the U.S. justice system.

Kee Hudson, Blanco

Are fetal rights more important

than the rights of U.S. citizens?

The U.S. Constitution grants rights to "citizens" and "persons." One must be born (not merely conceived) in this country to be a citizen.

By reversing Roe, the majority of the SCOTUS has essentially given the fetus, a non-citizen, a right that supersedes any right of the pregnant person, a citizen.

And to those who believe that a fetus is a "person," think about this: Are all age-related rights (such as the Constitutional rights to vote or serve in office, or the legal rights to drive or own a gun) now subject to be calculated from the date of conception, rather than the date of birth? Think about it.

Cynthia Scale, Georgetown

If men had the children,

abortion would still be legal

Within my limited life, I have often worked with the desperately poor . I've also housed an abused woman and her two kids, had friends who were raped and have a friend who was sexually abused by a neighbor at 12-13 years old.

How I feel about abortion in general or for myself isn’t the point. . It’s the fact that neither I nor any government entity should have the right to dictate what a women may need to do to in the case of unwanted pregnancy.

If men had the babies, we wouldn’t be discussing it at all.

Cynthia Thane, Austin

Restrictions on democracy

embolden abortion extremists

Roe v. Wade has been overturned and 36 million women (and girls) of child-bearing age may no longer choose for themselves whether or not to give birth.

In some states there are no exceptions for rape, incest or the mother's health. This won't affect all women equally. Some can afford to travel to states where abortion is still legal — mainly white women with economic means. But, there is talk of making even this illegal.

So, why not just vote the extremists out of power and let Congress pass a law making abortion legal? The only problem is all those Jim Crow-like voter suppression laws in Texas and other red states making it hard for certain groups to even register to vote. Looks like they have all the bases covered.

Carl Lloyd, San Antonio

Planned Parenthood prevents

more abortions than its critics

I suspect that not many of the people who oppose Planned Parenthood were alive when abortion was illegal in this country, but I was. It appalls me that largely male lawmakers both in Texas and in Washington should attempt to dictate the control over women’s health.

The fact is that Planned Parenthood has prevented more abortions through their family planning services than the combined efforts of their critics. The harrowing choices women have to make, often on their own, are always difficult but they should be able to continue to have safe options. In response to the decision handed down last Friday, I have become a sustaining donor to Planned Parenthood in Travis County.

Russell Chichester, Del Valle

Outlawing abortion is another

effort to dictate how we live

The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the Constitution does not confer the right to abortion. This was a political and control decision made by a group of individuals and organizations.

Control is so important to them, and whether it is abortion or some other issue, their mindset is to dictate how Americans should live. Be it guns, same-sex marriage, gay rights, interracial marriage, education rights, access to health care... the list goes on for them.

Look back in history; they would like to return America to some fantasy land that has never existed, but they constantly dream about.

Douglas Lennier, Cedar Park

Republicans succeed because

Democrats were complacent

To me, the most surprising thing about the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade was that some were surprised. For decades Republicans single-mindedly focused on imposing their will on everyone. They are succeeding because Democrats thought being reasonable, policy-oriented and “reaching across the aisle" would carry the day.

Democratic leaders: Be less cerebral and complacent (“Roe will never be overturned!”). Borrow from the Republican playbook and harness people’s anger and fear. Republicans have clearly shown that this works. You’re in the right both legally and morally, so show a little passion for your positions.

Democrats and independents: Turn off your TVs, educate yourselves about the issues, and vote!

Democrats have fought with one hand tied behind their backs for too long. It’s time to fight like our country depends on it. Because it does.

Ron Bravenec, Austin

Had it been legal then, mother

would have turned to abortion

Many good people support the SCOTUS decision regarding Roe v. Wade because they truly care about babies. I would like to talk to them from the perspective of someone whose mother would have aborted her had abortion been legal.

I wish to God my mother had had access to legal abortion — for her sake, my father's, my brothers and my own. No child should have to go through the hell that was my childhood!

My parents were married. Putting me up for adoption was unthinkable to them. Instead, my childhood was full of their anger and pain.

The world would be worse off without me, friends have said. My response is simple. If my mother had been able to have that legal abortion, maybe, just maybe, I could have been born into a family capable of loving me instead.

April Kihlstrom, Pflugerville

Gerrymandering erodes confidence

in the political process

Justice Alito says that whether to allow or prohibit abortion should be left to people of each of the states. Because gerrymandering in red states is so pervasive, rural districts whose legislators are generally opposed to abortion dominate state legislatures.

According to Pew over 60% of Americans support legal abortion in all or most cases , including many Texans I’m sure. Yet the voices of the majority who live in cities and suburbs, and who are more likely to support abortion rights, are not being fairly represented.

How is that supposed to inspire confidence in our legislative process?

Judy Daniels, Cedar Park

Forced birth should come with

free mental health care for life

Forcing a woman to give birth is killing her chance of maintaining a life free of chronic, even catastrophic mental anguish.

Our government should issue vouchers to these women for free, lifetime mental health services provided by highly qualified practitioners no matter what the cost.

Even then, it won't begin to compensate innocent women for the damage done to them.

Valerie Goranson, Round Rock

Grumet's column correctly

zeroes in on Alito's naiveté

I totally agree with Bridget Grumet’s recent column which noted that Justice Alito’s reasoning regarding Roe v. Wade "makes the naive assumption that lawmakers are truly representative of the people."

Roughly two-thirds of the people in this country do not support what the Supreme Court just did. If other decisions by both that body and Congress have also not represented our wishes, why are they there? To represent the wishes of their lobbyists and themselves, it seems.

The system isn’t working. Time for that to change. Please vote to make that happen!

Linda Haynie, Austin

What happened to the

U.S., land of the free?

I feel that I no longer live in the land of the free.

When Constitutional rights are taken away from the citizens of the United States by right-wing extremists, we are no longer free.

We must be proactive and do everything we can to elect officials who will help get back our basic rights. The ramifications of the reversal of Roe v. Wade are unending.

Lanie Tobin Hill, Austin

Texas must expand safety net

for unwanted pregnancies

The right to choose an abortion is a fundamental right for dignity, equality, autonomy, liberty and freedom for women.

Dire consequences will result from the SCOTUS decision.

Unwanted children are usually not properly cared for.

If Texas insists on forcing women to give birth against their will, then they should fund orphanages, day care and postnatal care for depression.

The anti-choice people are anti woman.

The only way to protect women is for everyone to vote in every election for pro-choice candidates. The next election in Texas is Nov. 8. Please register to vote now!

Jenny Clark, Austin

Adoption preferable to abortion,

but abortion right should remain

I want to say that I support legal abortion.

I have seen the results of banning it as a teenager when a girl I went to school with died due to complications from an illegal abortion.

You don't stop abortions with bans, you just get more women and girls injured from botched abortions. As a Christian, I would say a live birth and adoption is preferred but abortions are necessary.

Charles Waggoner, Georgetown

Editor's note: This week we're asking readers: How can we change U.S. border policies to prevent the deaths of migrants smuggled across the U.S. border? We'll publish a sampling of your letters next Sunday.

Send letters of no more than 150 words to letters@statesman.com by noon Thursday. We welcome your letters on all topics.

This article originally appeared on Austin American-Statesman: Austin American-Statesman Letters to the Editor: July 3, 2022