Weakening Roe v. Wade would be a criminal act
Politicians have no business telling a woman what she can or cannot do when it comes to her body. It is a tragedy that a woman’s right to an abortion ever had to go to the U.S. Supreme Court.
It was 30 years ago Jan. 22 that the historic Roe v. Wade decision came down. The justices ruled that the constitutionally guaranteed right to privacy “is broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.”
This is an issue about choice — a woman’s choice to do what she wants with her body. The right to make reproductive decisions should only be a woman’s. And the reason she chooses to terminate her pregnancy is hers alone.
At the time, Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun said, “Roe was a necessary step for the full emancipation of women.”
There are so many woman who have grown up with this right that they take it for granted; ignoring the fact that each year there seems to be another decision that chips away at the foundation of this ruling.
Although President George W. Bush and Attorney General John Ashcroft have said they have no intention of instigating a reversal of Roe v. Wade, they are both anti-choice.
One of the most alarming legacies of a president who does not recognize a woman’s right to choose is the altering of the makeup of the Supreme Court and other federal courts.
There is reason to fear Roe v. Wade will be overturned in the near future. The court has been tilting toward the anti-choice direction in the past several years. It is likely Bush will have the opportunity to appointment a jurist to the top court because some of the judges have made noise about retiring. The new person will undoubtedly be anti-choice. As it stands now, that one vote is likely to be the difference between a forward thinking court in 1973 to a backward, repressive court in the 21st century.
Already Roe v. Wade has been eroded by decisions that individual states have made. There were 262 anti-choice pieces of legislation enacted between 1995-2000. Forty-three of them were passed in 2000. That same year, pro-choice proponents won only 24 of the 134 reproductive rights laws that came before Congress.
What freedoms a woman has come down to the state she lives in. There are regulations in place requiring those under 18 to have parental consent or at least notification before an abortion will be performed. Some states require counseling or waiting 24 hours before terminating the pregnancy. Other states deny poor women who are on Medicaid the procedure.
The choice to have an abortion is undoubtedly one of the most difficult decisions a woman will have to make in her lifetime. It is shallow and callous to suggest that she should have thought about the consequences of having sex before getting pregnant. There are too many reasons for wanting to terminate a pregnancy for that line of thinking to be valid.
Roe v. Wade is not about sex. It about personal choices. It is about privacy. It is about a woman’s right to do what she wants to and with her body.
It should never be about politics. It should never be someone else’s decision.
Roe v. Wade is one of the best judicial decisions of the last century. Reversing it or any further weakening of it would be the worst judicial or legislative decisions of this century.
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