Clara Chiu: Abortion Is My Right

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In the shadow of the Supreme Court decision ending federal abortion rights, KQED Youth Advisory Board Ambassador Clara Chiu shares the harsh realities on the minds of young people adjusting to the consequences of Dobbs V. Jackson.

Our country was born from contradiction. A land that extolled values like liberty and happiness and withheld them from millions. A land that professes the right to life, except when that life belongs to a pregnant person.

In a mere 213 pages - the length of a short novel - rights I had known my entire life were abolished. Yet the Dobbs ruling wasn’t “novel” in any sense. After the draft decision was leaked, I wasn't surprised when Roe v. Wade was overturned. But the warning of its downfall didn't make the loss any easier. Abortions aren’t going to stop; the new laws will only disproportionately affect low-income women and women of color.

Here in California, abortion laws haven’t changed much. But as I start applying to colleges, I have a new element to consider while researching out-of-state schools: will my rights and freedoms as a woman be guaranteed?

In Dobbs, Justice Samuel Alito argued that abortion rights were not outlined in the Constitution. He is correct. The Constitution is a document written by men, signed into law by men; a document that mentions the word “he” more than 25 times and the word “she” exactly zero times.

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Alito also argued that abortion rights were not “deeply rooted in the Nation’s history and traditions.” Our laws reflect the narrative established by people in power. But resistance is also a part of the history and tradition that has defined our nation. It was through resistance to unjust laws that American society gradually reflected the ideals in our Constitution.

Dobbs has taught me that my body is a political object: that women’s bodies and the bodies of trans and nonbinary people will be continually shoved into the spotlight, wrapped in taboo and shame, debated over like a piece of territory.

This ruling isn’t just some “women’s issue.” It’s a human issue. It’s an issue that has become the new reality for my generation, who grew up with Roe and will now live under the consequences of Dobbs.

The fight for freedom is a perpetual struggle. And we will continue that fight because we won’t let our deeply rooted human rights be erased.

With a Perspective, I’m Clara Chiu.

Clara Chiu is a student at Woodside High School in Woodside. Her piece was produced with free curriculum from KQED’s Perspectives Youth Media Challenge.