Students, faculty discuss abortion rights | News

Texas, along with several other states, will now ban abortion following a nearly half-century long fight to overturn Roe v. Wade.

After a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court officially overturned the nearly half-century old precedent on June 24, ending constitutional protections for abortion. The decision is expected to result in strict abortion bans in over half the states. Many of these states, including Texas, also had trigger bans on the books which will make abortions illegal either immediately or in the coming weeks after the Supreme Court’s ruling.

Jason Lindo, a professor of economics at Texas A&M, said this decision will have lasting impacts.

“The effects are going to be so extensive and far reaching,” Lindo said. “There are going to be more people who are unable to have abortions, people who will have delayed abortions and later people who are having children earlier than they otherwise would have… There will be tens of thousands of people whose lives will be permanently altered in this manner.”

Lindo, who specializes in health economics, said this will disproportionately affect lower income families and women of color.

“They are already on average disadvantaged relative to the general population,” Lindo said. “Without access to abortion, and then having additional children, it is going to make them more disadvantaged. The racial inequality that we already have, and inequality that we have economically more generally, is going to expand as a result of more limited access to abortion.”

Cameron Dunn, an aerospace engineering senior and president of Turning Point USA at A&M believes more needs to be done if conservatives are truly going to be pro-life.

“We need a successful pro-life culture, we don’t just need the legislation,” Dunn said. “We need people to start donating at food shelters for single moms, we need people to start donating their time and money to these community shelters. If you can’t do that, then go plug into your local community … go do something so that you can have people in your community fall back on you.”

Dunn, who is also the founder and treasurer of Aggies for Liberty, said he is glad to see that this divisive issue is being handed back to the states.

“Unlike a lot of conservatives that you might talk to, I’m more of a, ‘Hey, let’s leave it at the state issues,’” Dunn said. “For instance, I don’t support pro-life legislation for all 50 states, I think that each state should determine their abortion policy, because I think the government is closer to you works more effectively.”

Economics senior and incoming Young Americans for Freedom chairman Rachael Sweeney said she feels this decision may affect the upcoming midterm elections.

“In my personal opinion, I think returning it to the state level does something interesting for the Democrats at the national level,” Sweeney said. “We’ve heard from Joe Biden, we’ve heard from other national level Democrats who said, ‘We’re going to make this a midterm issue.’ In my opinion, the Supreme Court said today that this is not a federal decision — the federal government has no power to make this decision.”

English sophomore Isabella Carillo said they fear the recent Supreme Court decision may affect more than just abortion rights.

“It definitely connects to LGBTQ rights, and also to the Black Liberation movement,” Carillo said. “I think it’s really scary that they can just do this, especially at this time when we need security in our bodies more than ever and we need that guarantee that we’re going to be okay.”

Carillo said it’s important to demonstrate anger and frustration about the decision.

“We have so much power as young people and we can go out there and we can use our voices to let them know that this is absolutely unacceptable,” Carillo said. “When people are loud, when people are annoying, they tend to listen because it affects them. Young people should not feel discouraged. Discouragement is not going to get us to where we need to be.”

Luke Leifker, a political science junior and member of the Aggie Democrats, said he no longer has faith in the Supreme Court after they overturned Roe v. Wade.

“It feels like the Supreme Court justices are legislating from the bench and also that they’re pushing their morals and their personal agenda on everyone else,” Leifker said. “First it’s abortion access, and then it’s gay marriage and I’ve even heard people talk about potentially Brown v. Board of Education being on the chopping block eventually.”

Leifker said he also thinks those opposed to abortion don’t fully understand the position of those who are pro-choice.

“I think one misconception that a lot of pro-life people have about pro-choice people is they think that we like abortion or that we want people to have abortions, but I don’t,” Leifker said. “I think that couldn’t be further from the truth. Abortions are a traumatic thing for everything involved. No one wants to have one. It’s never a positive thing. They’re here out of necessity.”

Political science senior and president of Pro-life Aggies Grace Howat said she continues to have faith in the Supreme Court and its decisions.

“If you look at the Constitution, nowhere in it is the right to an abortion,” Hewat said. “I think that this, if anything, improves the legitimacy of the [Supreme] Court because they’ve gone back on a case that was clearly very wrong.”

Howat said she believes the pro-life movement does not end with the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

“We have a scholarship for pregnant parenting students,” Howat said. “Last year, we gave up over $10,000 to pregnant and parenting students. We also have a free babysitting program for parenting students as well that they can take advantage of, we have so many other ways to help.”

Lindo said he believes it’s important to consider the long-term effects of this historic decision.

“I think this often gets lost, because we all get a little bit of tunnel vision in terms of thinking about the immediate effects,” Lindo said. “Sometimes we forget about possible spillover effects. A majority of individuals seeking abortions have already had children. I think that’s an important thing to keep in mind as we think, in a broad sense, about the full set of effects of these changes that are going to be taking place.”

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