Roe vs. Wade Dive-In: The SLS Community Comes Together to Debrief

Sofia Shklovsky '23, Staff Writer

On Monday, May 9, a week following the alarming Supreme Court leak regarding the status of Roe vs. Wade, students and teachers came together to share feelings, concerns, and information about the matter. Coined a “dive-in” by Feminism Club leader Cessa Lewis ‘23, this was an opportunity for members of the SLS community, regardless of age or gender, to learn from each other. Lewis said, “The purpose of a dive-in is exploratory. It’s important to come together when things like this happen.”  

We started the conversation by asking the meaningful question, How can women take control of their bodies and empower themselves while witnessing this potential reverse in women’s rights? We talked about the idea of “forced vasectomies” and ways to make men feel the burden of this abortion ban, but ultimately everybody agreed that both men and women should be free to make their own choices, and taking bodily control away from more people does not solve the problem at hand.

Some students brought into question statistics regarding the “system overwhelm” in foster care that would most likely take place with an increased number of forced and unwanted births. It was interesting to discuss the broader idea that this infringement on abortion rights would create a systemic issue in other areas like the foster care system.  

The group talked about how “religion” is often brought into the “pro-life vs. pro-choice” conversation in ambiguous ways, and that someone’s faith does not directly correlate with their beliefs about women’s bodily autonomy. The point was raised that “pro-lifers” who center their argument around religion are ignoring the fact that not everybody practices the same religion as them, and not all religions promote the same values.

The conversation about religion segued into the constitutional interpretation. How much change can truly be made in a democracy if leaders are perpetually tasked with interpreting an antiquated document, written in a time when human rights were limited? 

The discussion arose around the concept of “pro-life” really meaning “pro-birth”, given that society has such a limited support system for mothers and children AFTER they are born (maternal mortality, maternity leave, postpartum support, etc). With whose life is the pro-life stance really concerned? 

It was moving to hear what my peers and teachers had to say. With a student to adult ratio of 9 to 12, the dive-in created a safe space for everyone to speak their minds and share their hearts. Some attendees were active contributors to the conversations, while others simply sat and listened. Either way, both played an impactful role in the environment. One of the things I cherish about St. Luke’s is that when something catastrophic happens in the world, members of the community are brave and willing to show up and be vulnerable, and listen to the words of others. I highly recommend attending future dive-ins if you are comfortable, as it is an inspiring experience.