Students, faculty offer mixed reactions to the draft of a leaked majority Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade

By Victoria Giordano
May 3, 2022

An anti-abortion protest outside the Court House. Photo take from The Guardian.
An anti-abortion protest outside the Court House. Photo take from The Guardian.
An anti-abortion protest outside the Court House. Photo take from The Guardian.

Today, Cabrini students, staff and faculty reacted to news of a leaked majority Supreme Court decision that would overturn Roe v. Wade.

According to the draft obtained by POLITICO, the court would overturn Roe v. Wade‘s holding of a federal constitutional right to an abortion. Early Tuesday, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf reacted to the news, making it clear in a tweet that abortion will “remain legal in Pennsylvania.”


Still, the leaked draft is sparking a surge of mixed reactions.

Jana Wickenkamp, senior and international business major, opposes the move.
“I think women should have more rights to their bodies, considering the expensive health and education systems,” Wickenkamp said. “Not every woman wants a child, especially if it was unplanned or raped. Health care expenses, related to women’s health, should be free and funded by the government.”
She mentioned how Guatemala has a law where they force women into marriage with a man she makes a baby with. She also said in Germany, abortion is forbidden for women that are at least 12 weeks pregnant, causing women to travel to the Netherlands to legally abort a baby.
“It holds young women back from careers and opportunities. Having a child is a financial burden and comes with mental readiness. You have to be prepared for that stress.”

However, Cabrini chaplain, Rev. David Driesch, O. Praem, said more discussion needs to happen on both sides of the issue.

“The church’s teaching is ‘life begins at conception,’ so we believe abortion would be taking the life of a human being,” Driesch said. “I feel there’s too much polarization in this issue. I do believe both sides should be dialoged. Many things that are happening in our society and politics, we’re demonizing people. I think we need to move away from that. That is most certainly happening in the issue of abortion.”

Guilherme Lopes, director of Campus Ministry, also shares a very similar point-of-view.

A poster stating a woman’s right. Photo taken from NDTV.
“I was very shocked documents leaked about this. I never thought this court decision would be reversed,” he said. “I am ‘pro-life,’ but I am concerned for the future of health care for women.”
Lopes shared how his mother immigrated to the U.S. from Brazil as an undocumented immigrant. He said the only health care she could receive was from planned parenthood. “I am curious about what is going to happen regarding women’s health,” he said. “If Roe v. Wade is overturned, what’s going to happen with health care, especially for women?”

According to the POLITICO published Monday, “the Supreme Court voted to strike down the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, according to an initial draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito circulated inside the court.”

“The draft opinion is a full-throated, unflinching repudiation of the 1973 decision which guaranteed federal constitutional protections of abortion rights and a subsequent 1992 decision – Planned Parenthood v. Casey – that largely maintained the right. Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Alito wrote.

Sophomore Tyler Mcklaine said it’s hard to weigh in when he “doesn’t know how it feels to be truly a part of this conversation.
“I’ve never had a woman’s body and I know I can’t make decisions on their body,” he said. “Me as a man I know my place, and this is something the men in power don’t always consider.”

The New York Times reports that other publications “have not confirmed the authenticity of the draft, and Supreme Court justices sometimes change their minds during the writing of opinions. But many legal observers are treating the draft as authentic and assuming that abortion policy in the U.S. is about to be transformed.”

“It should be based on the individual. It shouldn’t be anyone else’s decision but the person who wants to make the decision,” Anri Vardanyan, senior criminology major, said. “I don’t think this is a decision a male should make. It’s the woman who gets to decide.”

Madina Ndongo, senior social work and black studies major, said, “Women have the right to do whatever they want with their bodies. It’s not up to a politician to determine what a woman should do with their body.”
Loquitur Lifestyles Editor Pryce Jamison contributed to this report. 

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Victoria Giordano

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