“I felt my gut drop out: ‘U.Va. Community Responds to Supreme Court Decision Overturning Roe v. Wade – The Cavalier Daily

Fear and anxiety are two common feelings among university students following the Supreme Court’s decision to to spill Roe v. Wade Friday, a landmark decision that protected the constitutional right to abortion for nearly 50 years. The decision comes after a draft opinion was leak At the beginning of June.

Ffion Button, a rising sophomore at the College, said she saw the news surrounding the leak and understood the potential of the decision, but didn’t realize how quickly it would happen.

“I felt my gut drop out,” Button said. “I was just very scared and anxious because I realized the seriousness of what had happened.”

Button is from Georgia, a state likely ban abortions after six weeks. Thirteen other U.S. states have “triggering laws” which came into effect when Roe was overthrown, banning abortion.

Abortion is currently still legal in Virginia – in most cases – and there will be no immediate restrictions or changes. However, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin has already announcement he is considering asking for an abortion ban after 15 weeks. Legislation will have to go through the Republican-controlled House and the Democratic Senate in Virginia – Democrats only hold a narrow majority in the Senate and all seats will be in the ballot in 2023.

Rising third-year student Jake Berton reacted similarly, adding that the weight of the decision “terrified” him and noting a sense of helplessness.

“I don’t have as much personal interest in this issue, obviously, just as a man, but I think there’s something there that really resonates deeply and it terrifies me,” Berton said. “If every woman in this country is being attacked like this, what does that open the doors to?”

Justice Clarence Thomas noted in his competition to the decision that it would also “reconsider” the Court’s position on other unlisted rights, such as the right to contraception as a decided in Griswold v. Connecticut or the right to same-sex marriage below Oberfell c. Hodges. Thomas’ opinion contradicts that of Judge Samuel Alito, who wrote that nothing in the opinion “should be taken to cast doubt on precedents which do not relate to abortion”.

Just hours after the decision was announced, university leaders, including President Jim Ryan, Provost Ian Baucom, Chief Operating Officer JJ Davis and K. Craig Kent, CEO of U.Va. Health – sent a university-wide email stating that, given Virginia law, there will be no changes to current services at U.Va. Health.

“While people are obviously free to express their opinions on this decision based on their beliefs and experiences, we urge members of our community to do so with empathy and understanding for all,” the statement read.

University student groups have also been vocal on social media following the decision, including Planned Parenthood Generation Action at U.Va., University Democrats, Young Democratic Socialists of America at U.Va. and the Asian Students’ Union. At press time, College Republicans did not respond to requests for comment.

PPGA publicized a number of ways community members can act on the decision, including making a donation to local Abortion funds or attend a demonstration or march. In Charlottesville, groups have already started rally to protest the decision.

“For more than 50 years, Roe v. Wade has enabled safe and legal access to abortion for people with wombs, a vital right exercised and enjoyed,” the statement read. “Many of us have been waiting for this decision for months, and for it to come, we feel sorrow and anger…we will remember that the movement for abortion access and bodily autonomy transcends any historical movement or political circumstance.”

Meanwhile, the College Democrats’ Executive Council wrote that they were “heartbroken” and “furious.”

“While voting alone won’t dismantle oppressive and patriarchal systems, abortion rights will be on the ballot every November,” said the statement bed.

Nikita Amin, president of communications for YDSA and a rising fourth-year student, encouraged students to stay involved in local and national politics and to donate if they can. Amin noted that access to abortion will be an important part of YDSA’s platform this fall.

“We strongly condemn the decision they just came to overturn Roe v. Wade, as we consider it a violation of fundamental human rights,” Amin said.

Amin also highlighted the intersectionality of the issue, emphasizing the difficulties gender non-conforming people are likely to face as a result of the ruling, as well as how the criminalization of abortion disproportionate affect low-income communities and people of color. Button echoed those concerns, citing experts who say banning abortions will force individuals to seek unsafe reproductive care.

“[The decision] will continue to suppress low-income communities, minorities and black women,” Button said. “It’s not about banning abortions. It prohibits safe abortions.

The Asian Students’ Union has also published a statement emphasizing the impact this decision will have on Asian and Asian American communities and encouraged individuals to stand in solidarity with marginalized communities who will be particularly affected by the decision.

As University members progress through treatment, the University’s Maxine Platzer Lynn’s Women’s Center is also offer a virtual discussion on reproductive justice on Monday from 1 to 2 p.m.

Merrill Hart contributed reporting for this story.

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