Did you know over 50 million legal abortions have happened since 1973?
Don’t worry I was in the same boat until last semester when two classmates and I decided to tackle this tough issue of abortion. The essay we wrote was titled Understanding Abortion in America’s Political and Social System.
Unpacking the legality of abortion
We went through several days and weeks tackling topics from Roe v. Wade and the women’s rights movement to modern-day procedures of abortion.
Here is an excerpt from our paper:
The court looked at the case of Roe v. Wade and saw that the under the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution and due process, women had the right to an abortion because a denial of abortion would necessarily violate a woman’s right to privacy.
The next paragraphs do explain how the government can stop abortions but only during the later trimester of pregnancies. This is possible because in the courts 7-2 majority opinion, the unborn child is considered more human later in the pregnancy.
This cleared up my confusion on why so many women and even men are pro-choice today. They feel the ruling, which happened over 35 years ago, was a great victory for women’s rights. However the decision has opened the doors to broader interpretations like partial-birth abortion.
A product of Roe v. Wade
Sick to my stomach would not accurately describe how I felt after I learned about the methods and jargon doctors use when performing this procedure.
One particular video I came across while I was researching still replays in my memory. The video shows an ex-abortionist from Planned Parenthood describing the steps on how to crush an unborn child.
The method abortionists used for a late-term abortion is called extraction and dilation. The procedure takes place even when an unborn child is legally protected by the government. This points back to the broader interpretations that came out of Roe v. Wade.
This is where it gets tricky. I soon learned that doctor’s not just performed this procedure based on their own interpretation of the ruling but were actually protected by law. The late-term exemptions in the 1973 decision allowed a doctor to perform partial-birth abortions if the woman’s unborn child was a health risk.
Two political outcomes
Sadly, it took many years before a bill was passed and signed into law banning such a horrible practice. In fact, the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act was signed by former president George W. Bush in 2003.
However, those who were not in favor of the bill, like current President Barrack Obama, felt it was unconstitutional, because it neglected the exception for women’s health. Others criticized it because they felt it could be a starting point for overturning Roe v. Wade.
This is another excerpt:
The law, by making an exception for those who have potential health risks, started the disastrous wave of millions of abortions by women who simply made the choice to take life away from a citizen of the United States.
The current issue
As you can see, abortion has become America’s flatline issue. Both sides of the debate will come to a dead-end. There will be no progress. The law is still active and thousands of abortions are being perform as I write this.
Containment is the only current option in practice today. Those who are for abortion and against it can generally agree that 50 million is not just a number but a generation of people forgotten. Although Roe v. Wade may never be overturned anytime soon, it seems the next best thing is to reduce and prevent abortions.
Pt. II coming soon.
Will Health-Care Reform fund abortions and do providers like Planned Parenthood receive your tax dollars?