The Millennium Phoenix

The Millennium Phoenix

The Millennium Phoenix

Taking Three Steps Back into a Dystopian World

We’ve officially gone back to the 70s, and it looks like we’re not turning back. In this new modern world where technological advances are being made, where diseases are being cured through gene editing, where society is growing and apparently thriving, the government still finds ways to take rights away from women.

On June 24th, 2022, Roe v Wade was overturned. Roe v Wade was a ruling by the Supreme Court that stated that women have the right to an abortion. This ruling was made  in 1973 and since then, almost 50 years later, the Supreme Court decided to overrule it, making this whole situation feel a little too similar to Orwell’s 1984.

Since the overturning of Roe, states have started placing bans or restrictions on abortions. According to an article by the Guardian, “14 states have enacted near-total abortion bans, while two states – Georgia and South Carolina – have banned abortion past roughly six weeks of pregnancy” (Sherman). Many of these bans don’t even exclude the expectation of rape or incest. These bans also don’t take int o account how long it takes for a woman to realize she is pregnant. Typically, it takes six weeks which isn’t even two months and many women who don’t have a regular period cycle might find it normal if they miss their period. Also even if a woman knew she was pregnant before the six-week mark and wanted an abortion, she would still have to schedule an appointment that may not be before the six week mark.

This ban affects low-income women disproportionately. In a survey done in 2004, a mother of two talked about her struggles with becoming pregnant after having already been separated from her husband and not having the most economically stable life, “Neither one of us are really economically prepared. For myself, I’ve been out of work for almost two years now, I just started, you know, receiving benefits from DSS and stuff. And with my youngest child being three years old, and me…constantly applying for jobs for a while now,…if I got a job, I’m going to have to go on maternity leave” (Dauphinee). By banning abortions, we are making it harder for women who are already struggling financially to sustain themselves.

There is, of course, the argument that women use abortion as a form of birth control. This is as untrue as it gets. For one having an abortion isn’t cheap; “Abortion pills…can cost up to around $800….An in-clinic abortion can cost up to around $800 in the first trimester….The cost of a second trimester abortion at Planned Parenthood varies depending on how many weeks pregnant you are. The average ranges from about $715 earlier in the second trimester to $1,500-2,000 later in the second trimester” (Attia). This isn’t something people can just do every month especially if they come from lower income families. You might say that this is the price without insurance covering it, so in reality, it’s cheaper; but it’s not, because many lower-income families aren’t able to afford health insurance. For example, the mother of two hadn’t had a job for almost 2 years meaning that she wasn’t able to receive benefits such as health insurance. Even if she would’ve gotten a job, she would’ve had to go on maternity leave. Many people hearing this mother’s problems would just say it’s her own fault for getting knocked up, but that’s like saying it’s someone’s fault for getting harassed because they were wearing revealing clothes. It’s a double standard that women constantly face in day-to-day life.

This whole ban on abortion is a way of controlling women and taking away their rights. If you look at the states that have banned abortion, you’ll notice that some of these states also lack sexual education in schools. In these states, people aren’t taught about contraception, leading to higher rates of teen pregnancy. Many politicians in these banned states believe that teaching teenagers how to have safe sex is bad. This is most likely because they believe that the only reason why women should have sex is to have kids. This need to control women’s bodies, to limit a basic freedom of bodily autonomy, is a mirror image of 1984. In 1984, we are introduced to a world where no one is free. People can be committed for expressing emotions or saying anything against the Party. Party members are also not allowed to have sex outside of marriage, since the Party only allows members to have sex to produce children. In 1984 it states, “The aim of the Party was not merely to prevent men and women from forming loyalties which it might not be able to control. Its real, undeclared purpose was to remove all pleasure from the sexual act. Not love so much as eroticism was the enemy, inside marriage as well as outside it”(65). This can easily be connected to our own world where people believe that sex is not for purposes of pleasure but rather to have children and nothing more. 

In our society, it’s pushed that women need to be mothers, that they want to be mothers, but that’s not always the case, and it shouldn’t be the expectation. Women and people in general, should be able to do whatever they want with their bodies, with no one telling them they can’t. 

Now with this ban on abortion, we can see how far we’ve turned to the past. We can understand how a small group of people, a Party, can make us go back decades in history. 


Works Cited

Attia. “How Much Does an Abortion Cost?”, 29 Apr. 2022, Accessed 12 Feb. 2024.

Dauphinee, Lindsay A., et al. “Reasons U.S. Women Have Abortions: Quantitative and Qualitative Perspectives.” Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, vol. 37, no. 03, Sept. 2005, pp. 110–18, Accessed 12 Feb. 2024.

Orwell, George. 1984. New York: Signet Classics, 1950.

Sherman, Carter, and Andrew Witherspoon. “Abortion Rights across the US: We Track Where Laws Stand in Every State.” The Guardian, 10 Nov. 2023, Accessed 12 Feb. 2024.

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About the Contributor
Mara Duque Ruiz, Online Managing Editor/Administrator