Before I embark on my next award winning column, I want to inform our readers that my co-blogger, DRK8blogginfem, is now on sabbatical. As most of you know – especially you pro-lifers out there – she is a professor at a local college in Pennsylvania and it’s just become a matter of time management. So, she will be on the sidelines for a bit. Meanwhile, however, I’m pleased to report that I will soon be joined by two other bloggers – and one of them is from Ireland where things are hot and heavy. Stay tuned.
So, Tuesday is the 40th anniversary of Roe v Wade. I live down here in Alexandria, Virginia so by the end of the week pro-life activists will be streaming into town for their annual “March for Life” (they are marching on the weekend). Of course, it’s more than one march. It’s a series of prayer vigils, concerts, visits to Capitol Hill (more on that later) and protests at local abortion clinics. A fun time will be had by all.
To this day, however, I do not understand how the pro-life movement has made this day theirs. I mean, if I recall correctly January 22, 1973 was a day of liberation for millions and millions of women, wasn’t it? It was the day that ended the era of illegal abortion. It was a day that guaranteed that women would no longer have to resort to back-alley abortionists or self-induced abortions. Roe v Wade saved the lives of thousands and thousands of women over the years. Now, I know pro-lifers will point out that women have died from legal abortions and that is unfortunately true, but the number of deaths after Roe is miniscule compared to the epidemic of deaths that occurred pre-Roe.
So, how is it that the pro-choice movement never organized an annual “March for Choice?” Well, the answer is simple. Most people get energized when they are losing, when they are fighting FOR something. In the case of the pro-lifers, it’s seeking an “end to abortion.” They envision saving all of those “little babies,” giving little or no thought to the millions of women who each year feel compelled to abort. Nope, they just love those babies and we’re the “baby killers” so let’s go to Washington, D.C. and march!
On the other hand, pro-choicers find themselves in the fortunate position of having to defend legal abortion and it’s harder to get people energized when you’re defending something that young people in particular have been living with all their lives. As we have recently seen, the murder of 20 children with a semi-automatic assault weapon is a much more immediate and compelling image than the grainy black and white photos of a women lying in her own blood, the victim of a self-induced abortion in 1964. It’s just not the same.
So, the anti-abortion crowd has basically kidnapped this day from us. They’ll go up to Capitol Hill on Friday and hand out red roses to all of the congressional offices (we used to take them, put them in water, then bring them home to our spouses). They’ll talk about how every woman who has ever had an abortion has regretted it and is on the verge of suicide. They’ll talk about dismembering fetuses, partial birth abortion (which, ironically, does not dismember a fetus), Obama wanting to mandate abortion and how ObamaCare is going to force all of us to pay for abortions up to 42 weeks. It will be the same ole, same ole.
But, damn, I wish we could take this day back!
- Roe v. Wade at 40: Why the Pro-Choice Movement is Losing the Abortion Rights Fight (time.com)
- Abortion Proponents, Foes Mark 40th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade (boiseweekly.com)
- Roe v Huh? Most Under 30 Don’t Know Roe v. Wade was About Abortion (jezebel.com)
- More abortion legislation may be headed for General Assembly (newsobserver.com)
- Most Americans under 30 don’t know Roe was about abortion (washingtonpost.com)