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Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

Roe v Wade overturn causes raises religious influence concerns

Many of us learned in school that church and government must remain separated. In the aftermath of the overturning of Roe v. Wade, abortion bans continue to rise, with 12 states having banned the procedure. While many are upset by the Supreme Court’s decision, some see it as a victory. 

There may be a correlation between those who are celebrating and their religious dedication. Since the majority of the Supreme Court members are conservative, and conservatives often have Christain values, it’s reasonable to question whether the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Wade was influenced by religion. If yes, that means the boundaries between church and state have been crossed. 

The purpose of this story is not to attack any religion or anyone’s personal beliefs regarding abortion. The goal is to determine if religion is interfering in politics.

According to Nina Toenberg from NPR, the Supreme Court is more conservative than what it’s been since 1931.

When Roe v. Wade was passed in 1973, three of the justices were nominated by Democrats and six by Republicans according to Market Realest. The Supreme Court was majority conservative when Roe v. Wade was passed, suggesting that the court’s recent decision had something to do with more than just politics. 

Willie Gin, assistant political science professor at SSU states in an email,

“Anthony Kennedy and Ruth Bader Ginsberg were the two crucial justices most recently replaced. Kennedy was a right-leaning judge who still supported things like same-sex marriage rights and was probably not going to overturn Roe. Ginsberg’s early career was devoted to defending women’s rights. In a hyper-polarized environment, the replacement of these two justices led to a solid majority overturning Roe.”

As stated earlier, when Roe v. Wade was first passed, the majority on the Supreme Court were conservatives. This suggests that the Court’s recent decision is not because of the conservative majority but rather the conservative judges are making decisions based on their religious views.  

“Personally, I think religion plays a part to the extent where man is using the bible to push their own personal agenda and using it for wickedness…as well as men making the decisions when they do not have to consider circumstances that women are forced into because of men” says Oliva Blades, fourth year psychology major who also identifies as a Christian. 

Blades makes a fair point. Pro-life advocates have often used religion as justification to put restrictions on women’s bodies. 

Gin states that the lines between religion and government will continue to merge together.

“A majority of the Supreme Court will continue to issue rulings that shift the line between church and state to allow more religious expression in public institutions, as well as more public funding to go to religious institutions.”

In the divided state our country is in, many political boundaries that once existed have disappeared. Including reversing the constitutional right of abortion based on religious perspectives about life. 

While religion will continue to influence majority of the Supreme Court’s rulings, it could be a long time before abortion becomes a consitutional right again. 

“Nobody can say for sure. Changing the Supreme Court and changing constitutional law takes a long time. It’s not something you can easily change with just one election. It takes a movement willing to mobilize over the long-term to enact these kinds of changes; that’s exactly what the religious right did in trying to and ultimately succeeding in overturning Roe over the past 50 years,” stated Gin. 

Change doesn’t happen overnight. It takes determination and commitment to make impactful changes. In Gin’s words, “it takes a movement.”

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