(Actual conversation overheard on train from Seattle to Denver.)
Man on train
: What do you think of abortion?
Woman on train
: I think it’s wrong.
: But did you know that a human embryo looks just like a chicken embryo?
: Are you suggesting to me that there is a possibility that maybe I could give birth to a chicken?
: I can’t talk to you! You’re too stupid. You have to leave!
Next week marks the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision on Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that granted women the constitutional right to have an abortion. In the 40 years since the court’s ruling there have been more than 55 million abortions in the United States. Statistics show that nearly one out of every five pregnancies in the US will end in an abortion. The percentage of abortions has continued to drop in the 21st century, but the numbers are truly staggering.
Next week, hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of protesters around the country will take to the streets hoping to make their voices heard. Despite rain and chilly temperatures, an estimated 300,000 people will attend the annual March for Life in Washington D.C.. The March for Life is the single biggest annual demonstration held in the U.S. capital. While the anniversary of Roe v. Wade is January 22, the march will be held on January 25 to avoid conflict with President Obama’s inauguration on Sunday. In other locations around the country, like Defiance, OH, January 22nd is still the day for marching from the courthouse.
The Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade remains one of the most controversial cases in US history, and the legal battle over abortion is far from being settled.
The year 2012 was filled with state legislation that sought to add safeguards to the abortion industry. Forty-three provisions restricting abortion were passed in the United States in 2012, more than any other year except 2011 with its 92 new provisions.
Ultrasounds were mandated prior to abortions in eight states, allowing mothers to actually see the tiny human life inside them before making life-altering decisions. One pro-abortion writer mourned, “Ultrasounds are used as tools to personify the fetus, by providing a stimulating visual for the purpose of dissuading patients from abortion.” In other words, they show the expectant mommy that she’s not carrying an embryonic chicken.
Louisiana and Oklahoma ensure that pregnant women can hear the infant’s heartbeat, and in South Dakota and Arizona, counseling is required for women prior to abortion. While pro-choice advocates argue that these precautions cause women additional grief when they are making a hard decision, there is another side to the issue. Not only do these laws potentially protect unborn children, but they also help protect mothers against being sold on a “procedure” by an abortion industry that makes a great deal of money from the women’s “choice.” Not every woman who enters Planned Parenthood wants an abortion.
Ardent abortion activists tend to vehemently oppose any limitations on abortion – even those that most Americans see as reasonable, such as parental notification laws. However while Roe v. Wade may have given women the legal right to an abortion, that right is not absolute. Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, wrote the following on the subject of abortion and our constitutional rights:
“…There are no absolute individual rights in our Constitution. The Framers forged a system protecting individual rights while recognizing legitimate countervailing interests of the state. In that balanced system, even such fundamental rights as the freedom of speech and free press, association and religion have been subject to some limitations.
For example, when states prohibit screaming “fire” in a crowded theater, they are not diminishing free speech. Such reckless conduct is not part of any reasonable definition of the right to free speech, just as the categorical exclusion of required parental participation is not part of any reasonable definition of the right to an abortion.
Pro-choice advocates would make abortion the only absolute right in our Constitution, even though it was not fully recognized by the Supreme Court until 1973. Conversely, parental rights have been recognized since the founding of our Republic but are routinely dismissed when they collide with the almighty right to an abortion…
Family values and integrity are not the enemies of the right to privacy but the very things that privacy is meant to protect.”
Abortion Hurts Women:
Abortion rights advocates have worked for 40-plus years to convince women they are better off killing their children, but technology and time have both shown us how damaging this “right” truly is. We know the babies are babies. We can see them sucking their thumbs at 12-weeks gestation and earlier. Women, who are generally known to protect their little ones like she-bears, do not leave a “procedure” unharmed. Forty years of broken hearts have made themselves widely felt.
Abortion has been postured as an issue of women’s rights and as a way of advancing the freedoms of women. The truth is, however, abortion can be damaging physically, psychologically, socially, and spiritually. Rather than freeing women, it has actually brought women great bondage and suffering. It has removed 55 million faces from our families, our schools, our futures.
The number of Americans who consider themselves “pro-choice” dropped to a record low of 41 percent in 2012. On its 40th birthday, Roe has grown terribly hard to wrap in pretty bows. Perhaps during the next 40 years, the United States can celebrate motherhood, honoring the women who bring new life, and supporting them however we can in raising the next generation of Americans.