Well, it’s January 22nd, yet another anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v Wade which legalized abortion in this country and started a controversy that will never subside. Please note that I say the Court “legalized” abortion – I didn’t say that they invented abortion.
I live about 8 miles south of Washington, D.C. and I’ve already noticed a number of buses pouring into town with their pro-life signs hanging from their sides. Indeed, as I write this tens of thousands of anti-abortion advocates are standing in the freezing rain listening to the same speeches that they’ve been listening to for years. They will hold their rallies then very soon start their march up Constitution Avenue to the U.S. Supreme Court. They’ll be more rallies, bullhorns, prayer vigils, speak outs, women who all of a sudden “regret” their abortions. You name it, there’s something for everyone.
Meanwhile, in much smaller numbers there will be the usual pro-choice “counter” events that are designed to make sure that in tomorrow’s newspapers or tonight’s news shows, there will be a pro-choice presence as well. Also, there will be the inevitable debate not about the issue but about how many people attended the rallies.
Around and around it goes, and for all of these years practically nothing has changed. The only thing for certain is that the number of abortions has gone down for a number of years and it is practically impossible to say why. Personally, I just have to believe that it’s because women, particularly younger ones, are simply more educated when it comes to birth control. But, yes, another reason may be that there continues to be an abortion stigma and single parenthood seems more acceptable these days.
One thing that pro-choicers will cite is the constant legislative “attacks” on a woman’s right to have an abortion. And, yes, the pro-lifers are taking advantage of the more conservative climate in many state legislatures but a lot of those laws deal with “informing” women of the “humanity” of the fetus, making them look at silly pictures. These laws do not seem to really have much of an impact. Then, there are a few clinics that have actually closed, mainly because as the number of patients decrease, some clinics are hurt and find they cannot pay the rent, equipment leases, and payroll. Like all businesses, they are affected by the number of “customers.”
And then, as Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank recently pointed out, organizations on both sides continue their decades-long pursuit of dollars. It seems that both sides always feel a need to send out fundraising letters with large, red lettering and lots of exclamation points. The now famous “personhood bill” is a good example. We’re gonna see the proposal in a number of states but, really folks, if it didn’t pass in Mississippi, what state will pass the damn thing?
The bottom line is 39 years later, (less) women are still getting abortions and the clinics stand ready to serve them.
- Formerly Pro-Choice Romney Attacks Roe V. Wade On 39th Anniversary (alan.com)
- Why is it Always Men Advancing the Pro-Life Position? (galileounchained.com)
- 39 years of Roe v. Wade (feministconscience.wordpress.com)
- Why is it Always Men Advancing the Pro-Life Position? (crossexaminedblog.com)
- Conn. To Mark Anniversary Of Roe Vs. Wade Decision (connecticut.cbslocal.com)