Students stand up to threat against Roe v. Wade


Photo courtesy of Anjali Tatavarthy

On May 14, 2022, protesters filled the streets of Washington D.C. to stand against the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

By Clara Young, Assitant News Editor

An endless loop. A tug of war. A vicious cycle. Never has there been a moment of rest in the conquest of equal rights across all platforms. There will always be opposing sides and the world is not so black and white where people can justify what is right or wrong. Now, a new turning point in the women’s rights category revealed itself on May 2, as a Supreme Court draft overturning the monumental 1973 case Roe v. Wade, which gave women the right to have an  abortion without excessive government interference, was leaked.

“I was just shocked when I heard about it,” WCHS sophomore Anjali Tatavarthy said. “It’s just hard to believe that a decision made almost 50 years ago is deemed as too controversial for this time, even though society is said to have progressed so far.”

In the original decision in Roe v. Wade, it was stated that women had a right to privacy which was an unenumerated right of the ninth amendment. This right to privacy allowed women to get abortions in any state. However, Mississippi’s attempt to go against precedent and ban abortion after 15 weeks brought into question whether or not Roe v. Wade was ever actually constitutional since the Constitution has no mention of abortion.

“I feel as though this is a domino effect,” Northwest High School junior Mehek Khanna said. “This one law affecting women will set a precedent for other laws and how they’re decided in that if the lawmakers who were able to make this happen can successfully overturn the case, it will lead to more restrictions against women.”

People have now begun protesting all over the country. Whether it is in favor of overturning or against it, people everywhere are making sure their voices are heard. This is not limited to older women and should be a conversation for all demographics, including teenagers like Tatavarthy and Khanna, who both went to the Washington D.C protest on May 14. 

“I was hoping for a powerful movement when arriving and it did meet the expectations,” Tatavarthy said. “I think the act of people (of all genders) assembling to help out a suffering community itself is such a meaningful process, and it fills me with gratitude that there are people always willing to help.”

Over their years at school, WCHS students have learned about many different circumstances of protests and fighting throughout history in terms of rights. Now, they have the opportunity to make their mark on history, no matter which side they choose to support. 

“The chants were definitely the most impactful,” Tatavarthy said. “In videos, you always see people coming up with the most creative chants and the messages almost give you goosebumps; it’s a whole different reality experiencing it in real life. I go back to a sign I saw while I was protesting that said ‘my grandma had to fight for this, and it really put into perspective how much we’re moving back in terms of how women’s rights are going.”

After being around such a driven group, Tatavarthy and Khanna want to spread the empowering experience to others. 

“I think I will continue to attend these protests and may even organize one for WCHS students to participate in,” Tatavarthy said. “There are so many people who feel strongly about this subject; it’s important people have an outlet to let their voice be heard.”

According to Education Week, only 47% of students from grades six-12 feel as though their voice is heard. For many teenagers, it is difficult to speak out and feel as though their actions are actually contributing to these prominent causes. But by stepping out of their comfort zones, students can be a part of the advancement they wish to accomplish.

“For me, having so many adults of all ages come up to us and say they’re proud of us for standing up for what we believe in and fighting for our generation was so impactful and empowering,” Khanna said. “For students who are in advocacy, having people commend you on your actions is probably the most powerful form of motivation to keep fighting for what’s right.”

As the number of protests rises, so will the awareness and concern for the issue. Only time will tell if Tatavarthy and Khanna’s side of the fight will prevail. 

“This has made me really scared for women all over the country and even the world,” Tatavarthy said. “If America is seen as the country of the free, and other countries use it as an example, women may be still suffering for years to come from just this decision.”