Will overturn of Roe v Wade cause more young people to vote?


Victoria Pickering

Victoria Pickering/Flickr — Protestors marched outside the U.S. Supreme Court while Dobbs v. Jackson was argued.

Kyra Slakes, Photo Editor

The number of young people voting in Wisconsin on Tuesday  will show whether the U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade is as big of an issue as state Democrats believe.

A Wisconsin law, first enacted in 1849, makes it a felony to perform an abortion at any stage of pregnancy unless it’s done to save a pregnant person’s life. “The suit makes the case that the 1849 ban on most abortions shouldn’t be enforced by arguing that it conflicts with and is superseded by state laws passed after the 19th century legislation was approved. That includes a law passed in 1985 that criminalizes providing an abortion only if it’s done past the point of “fetal viability,” or the point when a physician determines it’s reasonably likely that the fetus will survive for a sustained amount of time outside the womb.”

“Bodily autonomy already has not been a thing for communities of color… and now people will need to travel out of state,” said Tiffany Wynn, Vice President of Communications for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin. There are some clinics in Illinois where dozens of women from Wisconsin as well as people from 30 other states have traveled to get the help that they need.

Over the last few years, the number of younger people between the ages of 18-24 has continued to decrease. There is hope that with abortion being on the ballot for this up-coming election, maybe younger people will get out and vote. There are a number of reasons as to why younger people haven’t been getting out to vote over the last few years. According to the United States Census Bureau, “the 2020 election voter turnout was highest among those ages 65 to 74 at 76.0%, while the percentage was lowest among those ages 18 to 24 at 51.4%.”

Marrianne Radley, a Planned Parenthood advocate, said there are a number of reasons why younger people haven’t been getting out to vote over the last few years.

“Whether it’s being in a new city, a change of address, being away from family, not knowing where they can register to vote, etc., younger people have not been voting,” Radley said.

According to Marquette Law School, “Nearly 60% of Wisconsinites believe that abortion should be legal in all or most cases.”

The majority of people in the state want there to be proper care for people who find themselves in those situations and that need help figuring out what to do.

According to UWO senior Olivia Corrigall, “I have previously told people that I am not interested in politics unless it concerns my reproductive rights. After Dobbs v. Jackson, I realize that I have a voice that needs to be heard and a chance to turn the tide on how Wisconsin moves forward with reproductive health care. Without a doubt, I’ll be voting.”

UWO senior Katelyn Barteck says: “I am someone who already votes, with or without the overturn of Roe v. Wade. But with the overturn, I know it’s more important than ever. I know a lot of people don’t believe that their one vote matters, but I do. I’m appalled at the overturn and I believe that my vote matters.”

To learn how to register to vote go to myvote.wi.gov/en-us/Register-To-Vote.