Students react to Roe v. Wade, abortion

Janine+Geske%2C+a+professor+at+the+Marquette+Law+School%2C+said+that+the+Roe+v.+Wade+review+must+take+place+at+the+U.S.+Supreme+Court+level.

Photo by Josh Meitz

Janine Geske, a professor at the Marquette Law School, said that the Roe v. Wade review must take place at the U.S. Supreme Court level.

Forty-nine years ago, the United States Supreme Court ruled that pregnancy termination was an individual’s choice through the Roe v. Wade case. The debate on this case has continued to this day, and now there is a chance of it being overturned.

Janine Geske, a professor at the Marquette Law School, said that the Roe v. Wade review must take place at the U.S. Supreme Court level.

Geske said that the U.S. Supreme Court is currently reviewing a Mississippi case. This case would prohibit abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

“The Court already held oral arguments in the case. The Court could completely overrule Roe v. Wade, could just approve the Mississippi limits, could set other restrictions or could affirm it still good law. We will probably not have a decision until June,” Geske said in an email.

Katherine Walsh, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, is the vice-president of Marquette for Life, a student organization on campus, which she said supports the rights of unborn children and works to end abortion.

Walsh said that the main focus of the organization is to promote the dignity of every human life through events that they host. These events include guest speakers, volunteering and gathering to participate in the March for Life. The organization promotes the Natural Family Planning form of contraception.

The March for Life, which takes place in Washington D.C. on the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, is a march and rally that demonstrates human rights activism. Natural Family Planning is a form of family planning that helps both achieve or postpone pregnancy in individuals.

“Marquette for Life believes that any situation where the legal issue in question relates to protecting a human life is valid and should be addressed in the legal system, regardless of the amount of time that has passed,” Walsh said in an email.

Walsh also said that Marquette for Life hopes that the possibility of overturning the Roe v. Wade case will be taken seriously.

Another Marquette organization on campus is Empowerment, campus’s only intersectional feminist club, that meets and learns about social justice issues.

Emma Unholz, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences and President of Empowerment, said that Empowerment fully supports expanding access to birth control and contraceptives as it is a fundamental aspect of being a part of the pro-choice movement. Unholz said that the group will be frustrated if the court case was to get overturned.

“Anti-abortion activists have already made it difficult for pregnant people to receive an abortion, and without Roe, many conservative states might ban abortions altogether,” Unholz said in an email. “Another frustrating aspect is that it goes against public opinion. A Marquette Law School Poll conducted last month found that over 70% of people with an opinion on Roe are opposed to it being overturned.”

Norma McCorvey, alias Jane Roe, sought to terminate her pregnancy that was unwanted in 1969, but due to the abortion laws in Texas she was denied. The case was taken to the supreme court, which ruled that under the 14th Amendment, pregnant individuals should have the freedom to choose.

The Roe v. Wade supreme court case rests under two differing ideologies, this being pro-life and pro-choice supporters.

The pro-life movement opposes the use of abortion. At the core of the pro-life argument rests the equality and value of human beings, unborn or not.

The pro-choice movement supports the ability to choose to terminate a pregnancy, as well as more accessible places that provide abortions.Set featured image

Unholz said that students at Marquette should be aware of this case due to the importance of the results.

“Marquette students should be aware that if Roe is overturned or weakened, abortion access will be left up to states to decide. There will likely be more state abortion legislation, with democratic states promoting legislation to protect abortion access and conservative states moving closer to a total ban,” Unholz said in an email.

Walsh said that the Mississippi case that is under review is giving the organization more motivation in its mission.

“The Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health case currently before the Supreme Court makes our organization feel steadfast in our support of women facing unplanned pregnancies and single mothers in our community,” Walsh said.

Geske said that she believes that there will be a change made to the decision after so much debate has stirred up from it.

“Most observers believe that the Court will change the broad nature of Roe and might reverse the holding. Whatever the US Supreme Court does will govern federal law. Then each state can address the issue of abortion through its own legislature,” Geske said in an email.

This story was written by Phoebe Goebel. She can be reached at phoebe.goebel@marquette.edu