The woes of Roe

  • Article by: GAIL COLLINS , New York Times
  • Updated: January 10, 2013 - 11:11 AM

The Supreme Court's controversial abortion rights ruling came down 40 years ago this month.

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norgemnJan. 10, 13 1:03 PM

While I want to highlight the fact that as we mark the terrible tragedy at Sandyhook, there have been over 98,000 abortions performed in our country, I can anticipate the "my side, your side" arguments. In turn, it can transform into a debate between abortion rights, gun rights, etc and both sides simply try to debase the other side by poking holes in the other's argument and end up personally attacking one another while failing to get to the principle of the underlying issue behind it all. The fact is, our country/society/etc. has become a culture of death. We rightfully quote statistics by gun deaths, which inevitably leads into statistics of knife murders, car accidents, etc. The problem is that we tend to put different values and emphasis on the MANNER in which each death takes place instead of bemoaning the fact that these murders take place in the first place, regardless of how. While we all look for that one reason behind it all - and then of course the one easy answer to solve it all, we fail to surrender to the fact that there is no one easy answer. The fact is, until we each start respecting the dignity of each life at EVERY stage, and then take the time and effort to properly raise our children to do the same, the cycle will continue to grow worse. And even if/when we as a society begin to change our ways, we must also be ready to accept the facts that it will still take years to undo the damage we have done, and it will come only with great effort, sacrifice, and selflessness from all of us. I believe that all too often, when one person decides to take the life of another (outside of true self defense), in one manner or another it is because they are choosing to pursue their own priorities (whether it be rage, revenge, convenience, etc.) at the expense of the other. And while I fully acknowledge that unintended pregnancy by its very nature causes great fear, inconvenience, etc, it still does not excuse our inherent responsibility to protect life at all costs, whether we asked to be put in that position or not. "It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.” - Mother Theresa

odinmanJan. 10, 13 1:08 PM

"Over the past 40 years, women seeking abortions have been put through a lot of unnecessary trauma" **** So it should be as nonchalant and ho-hum as getting your teeth cleaned?

fisherdad1956Jan. 10, 13 1:18 PM

During the Nazi holocaust 6 million Jewish people were killed. Since Roe was enacted 53 million unborn babies have been killed. I think we need to ask ourselves at what point is it justified to kill someone. If the babies had a choice I wonder what that choice would be.

helenmajorJan. 10, 13 1:31 PM

Odinman,norgemn: Your choice of words and metaphor fail to account for the reality of reproductive health and freedom for women. Pregnancies fail, pregnancies come at bad times, pregnancies occasionally cost the life of the mother. Women do not get abortions like cleaning their teeth, or choosing a new lipstick color as was suggested 40 years ago when the issue was being debated. People, some of whom are women, make decisions about their lives as is their right to do. It is not something that Roe v Wade changed from before abortion was decriminalized. What has changed is the reduction of maternal deaths.

ontherecordJan. 10, 13 1:52 PM

fisherdad1956: "If the babies had a choice I wonder what that choice would be." It would be "I am not a BABY. Shut up and mind your own business!"

afgehringJan. 10, 13 1:53 PM

I have known many people staunchly opposed to abortion. The problem is, once the situation affects them, their girlfriend, their daughter, etc. then the tune changes.

liora51Jan. 10, 13 2:06 PM

People certainly do change their tune when it comes to themselves. Look at Rick Santorum, virulently opposed to even birth control, but when his wife's life was in the balance with a septic fetus, they chose abortion. And then in Ireland a woman with the same situation died begging for an abortion to save her life-but it was illegal there.

jgmanciniJan. 10, 13 2:23 PM

What part of "It's none of your business" is so hard for some people to understand?

fisherdad1956Jan. 10, 13 2:27 PM

onterecord-"Re-comment-I'm not a baby so shut up and mind your own business". If I am not a baby how can they make the comment shut up and mind your own business??? The only difference between an unborn baby and one that has been born is location.

norgemnJan. 10, 13 2:32 PM

jgmancici - I hate to use such a cliche example, but as in most cases, the principle remains the same. Was it simply none of our business to get involved when Nazi Germany was systematically killing 12 million individuals in concentration camps? And afgehring - once again, I completely understand and even sympathize that once faced with a dire situation, even an option such as abortion may seem to offer a solution. However, if we allow ourselves to simply be guided by our feelings, we will keep perpetuating mistakes. No matter how we feel about a scenario, it does not change the principle, morality, or the reality. If a husband/wife caught their spouse cheating on them, they may feel like they want to do great harm to the other in the heat of the moment (probably understandable to feel that way), but no matter how you cut it, it would be immoral for that person to take the other's life...even in a situation where outright wrong has been committed. Now place that same principle on unborn child who has done nothing, except to simply exist.


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