In honor of the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade — a landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court to give women rights on abortion — the Student Women’s Association is sponsoring its annual Pro-Choice Week.
Third-year journalism student and co-chair of the Student Women’s Association Casey Weed wrote in an email that Pro-Choice Week “consist[s] of daily events to create awareness and provide education concerning reproductive rights and women’s issues. As part of Pro-Choice Week, we will be tabling each day in the Union and we will have a poster where people can write why they’re pro-choice.”
According to the LexisNexis case summary, Roe v. Wade is one of the most significant cases in the history of American court decisions because it established a woman’s right to a safe and legal abortion, pursuant to the penumbral right of privacy.
In 1973, Jane Roe filed a lawsuit against district attorney of Dallas County, Texas, Henry Wade, challenging the constitutionality of Texas abortion laws, “she was a single, pregnant woman who was residing in Dallas County, Texas.
“She further alleged that she desired to terminate her pregnancy by an abortion ‘performed by a competent, licensed physician, under safe, clinical conditions,’” according to the case summary of Roe v. Wade, “and that she was unable to obtain a ‘legal’ abortion in Texas because her life did not appear to be threatened by the continuation of her pregnancy.”
The court declared the abortion laws too vague and infringed on the Ninth and 14th Amendment rights.
“We’re asking people who consider themselves pro-choice to create a flyer explaining why they are pro-choice,” Weed wrote. “We sent the flyer template on the announcements folder and people can create their own (including their name, picture and why they’re pro-choice).”
Weed wrote that the SWA has received several posters so far and members of the group are working on several as well.
“[The posters] will definitely spark conversation, which is essentially what we’re trying to do,” Weed wrote. “We’re not trying to force any beliefs on anyone, but it’s an important issue in the U.S. right now and should be discussed.”
Delaney Guerino, a fourth-year secondary education student with a concentration in English and a member of SWA, wrote in an email that “These posters are [designed] mostly to show our support for women’s right to choose and our trust in women to make such a life-changing decision.
“In addition, we put up the posters during pro-choice week because it also raises awareness about the events we have going on for the week and the fact that the Roe v. Wade decision was made on January 22nd, 1973, which is not a date that stands out in many people’s minds,” Guerino wrote.
When asked why Pro-Choice Week is important, Weed wrote, “I consider myself to be pro-choice because I see the issue primarily as a rights issue. Women should have the right to make their own decisions and no one else should judge them or tell them what they can or cannot do with their own body — every situation is different. I also think that the topic of abortion is very big right now and people should be informed and educated about important issues.”