The recent decision by the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade has left many citizens confused and unsettled with what may lie ahead for the nation. This step to further control the bodies of people with periods could be the catalyst for stripping the rights of other disadvantaged communities as well. Thus, The Gavel asked Boston College’s student body residing in 44 different states their opinions and reactions to this daunting period of history.
“I can’t wait to leave this country for good”
“I am heartbroken and in fear. For this court it’s only the beginning.”
“Feeling absolutely defeated & disgusted & powerless. I don’t want to fight. I just want rights.”
“I am horrified and sorrowful but I am not shocked and that’s what scares me for our country.”
“This is infuriating. What happened to separating church & state?”
“Abortion is healthcare which is a human right. This is a direct attack on women's human rights.”
“I’m sick to my stomach.”
Jamie Mazareas, CSOM ‘03 and currently GMCAS
Many BC students, and many Americans, view the decision overturning Roe and Casey as outrageous and extreme. It's scary to think a conservative cabal on the Supreme Court can take away women's right to make decisions about their own health and bodies. Many are pointing out that the obliteration of this right does not end with abortion. Justice Thomas explicitly writes in his opinion that the court should next look to overturn the mistakes it made in Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell, the decisions legalizing contraception, same-sex activity, and same-sex marriage.
I think it is important to note as many find this prospect horrifying, these are all positions comfortably held by BC's President Father Leahy. In 2003, he joined a campaign to oppose the legalization of gay marriage, signing a letter published in the Boston Globe opposing such. In recent years, he has said in meetings with Gabelli Presidential Scholars that he opposes an LGBTQ+ resource center because it could be a hub for support for gay marriage and gay sex. BC has banned Students for Sexual Health from operating on campus and opposes efforts to make contraception available to students. The reality of abortion being outlawed and rights to contraception and same-sex marriage being at risk in 2022 is frightening. It is also completely in line with what the President of BC believes.
Grace Lenahan, MCAS ‘24:
"With sorrow—for this Court, but more, for the many millions of American women who have today lost a fundamental constitutional protection—we dissent."
Sorrow is a liquid word, a word that spills and stains, a word that bleeds. The many millions that bleed with it bleed without consent, but by design. Theirs is a sorrow not freely given or retractable, but biological—a choiceless dissent worn on their bodies, stained red. As one of the "many millions" mentioned, I don't share the court's sorrow—I bleed it, every month, and live it every day. Women have that sorrow built in.
Roe's overturning is nothing we aren't used to. We have been dissenting since the very moment our bleeding, our being, became sorrow. And we will continue to bleed.
Gabby Levitt, MCAS ‘24
I tried so hard to put it into words, and I just can’t. Even though I knew this was coming, the reality of it still makes me speechless. And mostly I’m scared for myself and other people in the South because we’re the people who are getting left behind.
Teresa Knestout LSOE ‘24
It’s heartbreaking, yet unsurprising after years of political division, discrimination, and injustice, that women’s reproductive rights are being stripped away by powerful people who don’t seem to care this decision will deepen socioeconomic, racial, and sexual disparities across the country. I’m terrified to see what happens next.
These responses are only a small portion of what BC’s student body feels as they continue to witness and experience the effects of this decision. It is important to keep in mind that many people are grieving in silence, as everyone processes emotions differently. Others grieve through protest and rallying, fighting extremely hard to make their voices heard. Regardless, this overturning leaves many people scared for their futures. However you may choose to process this event, The Gavel is here to support you and help in any way that we can.