Thoughts on Roe v. Wade
They're not mine, but they might as well be. Thanks to long time supporter KS for this comment at the Detroit News.
John, you asked, “Does the elevation of Judge Roberts to Justice Roberts mean the end to legal abortion?” and you answered, “Not quite.” You went on to point out correctly that even if Roe v Wade were overturned, the question would be turned back to the states. In the case of Michigan, abortion would immediately be illegal (except to save a mother’s life) based on a law still on the books dating back to 1931.Well said, as always KS.
If all these scenarios play out, Roe v Wade is overturned, and Michigan and the majority of other states outlaw abortion, the only outcome will be the end of "legal" abortion. Sadly, abortions will continue, albeit the number may be reduced. Abortions will continue because the circumstances driving women to seek abortions in the first place will not have changed, and woman will now have to deal with the added stress of being a lawbreaker too.
I’m pro-life and don’t advocate taking any life (I’m also against capital punishment and unnecessary wars, as you know), but I think the voices that seek to protect the lives of the unborn are going about it the wrong way. Our churches and politicians send mixed messages when they speak out loudly in defense of fetuses, but barely whisper about the conditions that lead many women to seek abortions, i.e. poverty, marital pressures.
A report by the Guttmacher Institute circulating among major newspapers this week has been reporting the good news that abortions continue to decline and are at their lowest rate since 1976. They point out that possible factors for this reduction could be reduced access to abortion services, but pregnancy clinics and abstinence programs could also have contributed. This reduction came about despite Roe v Wade. However, abortions still continue, and about 1.29 million US women had abortions in 2002, although the Institute did point out:
“The incidence of abortion spans the economic spectrum, but low-income women are over-represented among those having the procedure. Sixty percent of women who had abortions in 2000 had incomes of less than twice the poverty level --below $28,000 per year for a family of three, for example. This is in part because "low-income women have lower access to family planning services" such as contraception and counseling provided by health departments, independent clinics or Planned Parenthood…”
Family income doesn’t have to be at poverty levels to put stress on a woman either. I have a Christian friend who carried the burden of an abortion around for years. She and her husband already had three children when she found out she was pregnant again. Her husband told her point blank to end the pregnancy or he was out of there. He couldn’t deal with the added responsibility and financial pressures of another mouth to feed. My friend did what she thought she had to do in order to keep her family and marriage intact. She was so ashamed that she never stepped foot in another church until her oldest child got married. It took her years to make peace with God and her conscious.
So, let Judge Roberts be elevated to Justice Roberts. Abortion may become illegal, but it won’t eradicate abortions, it won’t address the reasons many women seek abortion in the first place, and it certainly won’t help heal the pain of women who have had abortions.