Roe Vs. Wade, a decision of the Supreme Court on abortion, has passed its fortieth anniversary date. This decision has at least one thing in common with the Constitution of the United States in that the religious have fought to destroy it since its inception.
Wild eyed religious zealots have attacked abortion clinics and killed abortion doctors on various occasions through the forty years of Roe Vs. Wade. It doesn’t matter that the doctors which are targeted are members of a church and believe many of the same things as the assailant, all that matters is that the doctor differs on the matter of abortion. Dr. George Tiller, one of a few doctors that performed late term abortions, was shot and killed by an unrepentant madman while within the walls of his church.
Roe Vs. Wade gave women the right to an abortion up to the twenty-forth week of pregnancy. The decision, handed down January 22, 1973, guaranteed this right to an abortion “free from interference from the state.”
No longer were women required to carry a fetus to term regardless of danger to the life of the mother, regardless of deformity of the fetus, regardless of financial circumstance, and regardless of whether the mother and father were mature enough to take on the task of raising the child.
In fact, Roe Vs. Wade gave complete control of conception to women. To me, this does not seem entirely an expression of equal rights.
Many people will no doubt take issue with some of my opinions on this matter. Some will say that I am promoting a patriarchal viewpoint. This is untrue, as I promote equal rights for all. I am not for any particular group gaining an advantage, not even to equalize past inequities. Efforts to promote advantages, even temporary advantages, for select groups of peoples have always ended up perpetuating the very fault they were meant to correct. Also, such ‘temporary’ advantages have always had a way of continuing permanently, with cries that who can know when to end them.
Roe Vs. Wade does not allow for any rights to the male side of the equation. If a woman is dead set against carrying a baby to term, even in a consensual sex situation, the baby is terminated, regardless of the opinion of the other member involved. If a woman is dead set in carrying the baby to term, regardless of the father’s opinion, the baby will be born. It doesn’t matter whether it was a case of deception (woman said she was taking birth control, but wasn’t), or a case of failure on the part of whatever contraceptive device being used, the father is obligated to the child’s support, should the woman decide to give birth.
Some have suggested that the future may involve business-like contracts even in consensual sex situations. The father declaring that should the woman get pregnant that he faces no legal or financial obligation if the fetus is carried to term. Such contracts may in fact already exist. Even so, with the courts only offering protection for a woman’s rights, and a child’s rights, such contracts would no doubt be invalidated, no matter how ironclad.
Any one familiar with child-support cases knows that it doesn’t matter whether a man has only enough money left to live under a bridge, the mother will be granted whatever she needs. One wonders if this is the reason that homeless men walk the streets of major cities. It isn’t always practical to move back home with the parents.
I support abortion rights. To do otherwise consigns women to back alley butchers. Abortions will still occur whether abortion is banned or not. Yet, as it stands now, Roe Vs. Wade seems inequitable.