Put an end to banning

Rachel Phinney, Staff

On December 13, 1971,  the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that a state law that banning abortion was unconstitutional. The Roe v. Wade decision stated that a woman’s right to privacy extended to the fetus she was carrying.

In April, The Senate blocked a bill that would have protected abortion rights 51 – 49. The bill would have barred state from banning abortion before fetal viability – generally 24 weeks – and, in certain cases, beyond this point if the mother’s health was in peril. 

An analysis from The New York Times predicts that 28 states that could ban or further limit abortion if the Supreme Court were to strike down Roe v. Wade decision, as Justice Samuel Alito’s draft of decision suggests. States such as Tennessee, Texas, Ohio, Florida, Arkansas and North Dakota are poised to ban the procedure. 

New Hampshire, however, was not  on this list.

But abortion is not the only thing in America being limited. Many classic novels are now being “banned” from the educational system and some public libraries. In 2021, attempts to ban books in the United States surged to the highest level in 20 years. Books featuring LGBTQ+, gender-transitioning, or “sexual” characters are forbidden from being assigned in some schools. 

While these two topics can’t seem to be any farther apart, there is one thing to connect them: It’s 2022, and we are banning human rights.

 Throughout this country’s history, people have fought for equal rights for women, for people of color, for LGBTQ+ folks, for children. There were protests, such as the “Silent Sentinels” for women’s suffrage in 1917, and there were the Freedom Rides against segregation in 1961. There have been boycotts, such as the Montgomery Bus Boycotts in 1955, and the Delano Grape Strike for better wages and working conditions in 1965. People from Susan B. Anthony to Martin Luther King Jr. to Leslie Cagan have worked for equal rights.

After all this hard work, The United States, a supposed beacon of freedom, won’t let people be who they are. If someone is gay, does that affect another person’s day-to-day life? If someone is non-binary, does affect anyone else?

Similarly, women should have the right to choose what they do with their own bodies.

With abortion and books being banned, in a world that supposed becoming more accepting, American seems to be going backwards.