What Was She Thinking

In contemplation of the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe V. Wade in 2022, an offering that attempts to amplify the voices of those often overlooked by the historical record…

by: Savannah Sisk

In a day and age when men’s opinions are so well regarded that they can quite literally overturn Constitutional rights, I felt the need to gather and record the opinions of women, historically less present. The overturn of Roe v. Wade directly affects millions of women across America. Their opinions on the subject need to be heard. To do my part, I have asked a grouping of women  what they thought about the overturn of Roe v. Wade. I have recorded all of their thoughts, thus propelling often overlooked women’s opinions into the record. By the time you finish reading this, women’s opinions on the overturn of Roe v. Wade, and women’s opinions in general, shall be slightly less vague.

Now, before I begin, I should point out the obvious flaw in my plan — I only spoke to five different women. Due to this fact, the opinions I am about to share out can not possibly be indicative of the opinions of every woman in the United States, let alone the world. However, this is not the point. This is not about making sure that every voice is heard. Feasibly, I could not do that. Originally, I went for the angle of diversity. I could not have imagined that all five women would have the same opinion. However, each and every woman I interviewed was of a common mind. In hindsight, this is not that surprising. According to the Pew Research Center, sixty-one percent of Americans believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases. Nevertheless, I will reiterate myself, the aim here is to share, and hopefully preserve, women’s opinions. Here are some  of those opinions:

The question asked: “How do you feel about the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade?”

  1. “Horrified. I feel horrified because I feel like we are going back in time rather than progressing. Taking away people’s rights should not be the way our country is moving, whether it be taking away women’s reproductive rights or the rights of the gay community. I am very upset. My thoughts on abortion in general are as follows: nobody is pro-abortion. The right word for someone who wants abortion rights is someone who is pro-choice. And if the government takes away the option of abortion, then they need to provide accessible contraception and subsidized adoption. In other words, if you’re going to force a woman to have a baby, you need to make it really easy for other people to adopt that baby. And if you are going to take away the right to abortion, then you need to make it really easy to prevent pregnancy in the first place. The state I live in, Colorado, is a sanctuary state. Here, the law permits abortions to term. I do not agree with that. However, I understand why. No woman is waiting thirty weeks to have an abortion on purpose. Abortions are happening later and later in pregnancies because women are being forced to travel in order to get abortions. Women are making pilgrimages to abort. So if I needed to get an abortion, I could be standing in line at the clinic behind women from Texas or Oklahoma. Additionally, sometimes it is medically necessary for doctors to perform abortions. Needless death is occurring because doctors are not allowed to abort.”
  2. “I am not happy about the Supreme Court’s decision. I think that it is a woman’s decision. For me personally, I don’t believe that aborting a child is ever something that I could do. I don’t think that I could ever have an abortion, and I feel very blessed that I’ve never been put in that position, and have had to make that choice. But I don’t believe that any woman should be forced to have a child if that child came about as a result of rape, incest, or some other horrible circumstance. ‘Whelp, sorry, you got pregnant, you can’t have an abortion, you have to carry it to term-‘ I don’t think that is fair. I don’t think that abortion should be something that women use as birth control? As in, if a woman becomes pregnant under normal circumstances, she should not abort. But I don’t think that the government gets to decide that women can’t abort, either. The limitation of choice is what makes me angry. Like I said, I may not necessarily agree with why a woman is having an abortion, but it is not my responsibility to decide whether a woman can or cannot have an abortion. It is not anybody’s responsibility to decide that except for the woman herself. That is Suzie, and Suzie will make her own decision. And, again, God forbid that a woman becomes pregnant as a result of rape or incest and the response is “No, you can’t have an abortion,” that is not right. And then, I don’t know how often this comes up, but we’ve seen it on TV in shows like Grey’s Anatomy, where a woman medically would be healthier if she aborted a baby. But now some states are saying ‘No, you can’t.’ But it’s like ‘Well, but if I have this baby it could kill me.’ ‘Well, but no.’ I don’t think that that is anywhere where the government should step in.”
  3. “I think that their decision is pretty stupid. Because, like, obviously there are women on the Supreme Court, but it’s basically a bunch of men voting on women’s bodies, and it’s like, um, you’re kind of the reason that we need abortions. So, I think that what they did was a pretty messed up thing to do. Also, the whole thing with Roe v Wade as a ruling is that it was there for a reason. It’s not like it was some super old law that was outdated in any way. A lot of men cheat, and then they don’t want to deal with the children, but then they’re also like ‘No, you have to keep it, you can’t have an abortion. But like raising the actual child? Nah, that’s not my responsibility, that’s your responsibility.’ Make it make sense. When talk of abortion arises, people are always like ‘Oh, but the kid, oh, but the baby.’ That’s all they’re thinking about. They’re not thinking about the already completely living, already has a life, already has thoughts and feelings woman involved. All they’re thinking about is the unborn fetus. And concerning a lot of the women who are having abortions, I feel like it’s not necessarily ‘Oh, I don’t want to have this baby,’ but ‘I can’t have this baby; I will die if I have this baby.’ I think that the people against abortion rights aren’t thinking of the woman involved, they’re thinking of the unborn child. Which I find really odd, because they’re choosing to ignore an already living person, and not seeing them as a whole person with their own life and world over this thing inside of the woman, which they see as more important even though the so-called importance of the fetus could be debated. This baby has no thoughts, no feelings, they haven’t lived a life. It’s not even a baby, it’s a clump of cells. And to choose a clump of cells over a woman is despicable. Additionally, speaking on the whole ‘life begins at conception thing,’ I don’t think that we should be using the bible to determine whether women can have abortions? If you’re a Christian and you want to use that as your reason why you’re against abortions, great. But there are many women who aren’t Christian who still need abortions. Basically, if you need an abortion and you decide against it for whatever reason, great. Do whatever. But don’t tell people that they can’t do it for that same reason. Because ‘Oh, God wouldn’t want that.’ Okay, well what if I don’t believe in God? You get me? I feel like the people who support the overturn see women as less than men. Because if the situation was reversed and it was men who were having the babies, this wouldn’t even be a discussion. I am sure that men would be guaranteed a right to abortion.”
  4. “Honestly, it’s your decision. America is a country of freedom, and women should have the freedom to abort. It’s your body, and you should have the choice to do what you want to do. I was going to say except if that person was a minor, but I guess if the pregnancy was a result of rape then minors should still have access to abortion. Do they? I have no idea. I feel like a lot of people have the misconception that women have abortions for funsies, or something. It’s not as if women are like ‘Oh, I’m going to have sex and have fun and it’ll be okay, I can just have an abortion.’ As ridiculous as that sounds, I feel like a lot of people seem to think that is why women are having abortions. But it’s not. I think that it should always be an option, because women should always be given the choice. Especially concerning people who don’t have any money and couldn’t take care of a kid. Because adoption is always an alternative, but the adoption system in America is a nightmare. I feel like when people say ‘Oh, just put it up for adoption,’ as an alternative to abortion, it’s like okay, well they’re not going to have a good life and you obviously don’t care about the child at all, you just don’t like the idea of a woman having an abortion. If you can’t have a child, then you shouldn’t have a child. Because then that kid could grow up in a bad environment, and that kid is a whole human. Especially if the baby being born could potentially harm the mother. Are you going to trade someone who is already alive for someone who has never even known the world?”
  5. “I am extremely disappointed. I never thought it would be overturned. I do feel that it is, in simple terms, men taking rights away from women. It is my body, and it should be my choice. I don’t think that anybody should be telling you what to do concerning your reproductive health. I truly never thought that I’d see the say that the land of the free is no longer. I feel as if little by little our rights as women are being stripped away. I don’t think that the government should be in charge of my body. I don’t want the government to be in charge of my body. It is my body, and it should be my decision. I truly feel that we are going backward. I feel like gun owners have more rights than women. It’s sickening. We need more women in Congress and the Supreme Court, and we need to oust the men in those positions of power who are still stuck in the 1920s. Bring on the term limits.”

With this all said, I can proudly declare that I have completed my goal. I have shared the voices of those often overlooked by the historical record. But what can you do? How can you help to uplift women’s voices? We are, after all, historically unheard of. To start, ask the women in your lives what they think. Ask your mother, your aunt, your grandmother, and your sister how they feel about these earth-shaking events. Record their opinions. Today, archeologists are uncovering the shopping lists of ancient Egyptians. Mere scraps of paper can survive millennia. Do not let women’s opinions be forgotten. They have been forgotten far too long. Strive to preserve them, so that hundreds of years from now historians will know with certainty the answer to the age-old question: “What was she thinking?”


Savannah Sisk has been published in the Alcott Youth Magazine, Quail Bell Magazine, and her work is forthcoming in Academy of the Heart and Mind Magazine.

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