Roe v. Wade - What the reversal REALLY means



Making abortion less necessary is by far the better approach. 

The first way to do so is to reduce the incidence of unintended pregnancy. Half of all pregnancies in this country are unintended, and, of those, half end in abortion. 

Unintended pregnancy could be reduced significantly if we showed true commitment to: 
1) comprehensive sexuality education that includes medically accurate information about abstinence and contraception; 
2) insurance coverage of and public funding for family planning services; 
3) greater access to emergency contraception (which prevents pregnancy and does not cause abortion); and 
4) programs that curb domestic violence and sexual abuse. 
Clearly, women who are able to avoid unintended pregnancy do not have to make the difficult decision of whether to have an abortion.

By providing low-income and young women with genuine education and career opportunities, health care, child care, housing, services for disabled children, and other basic supports, many would have the resources they need to fulfill the serious obligations that parenting brings. 

Roe was a sledgehammer, and wrongly wielded

Leaving each state’s voters to balance respect for personal freedom with respect for nascent life, as a reversal of Roe would do, strikes me as reasonable.

Perhaps it’s too much to hope for in our politically polarized times, but a reset on the subject of abortion — a re-evaluation of the actual issue, with its thick partisan rust sanded away — should be welcomed, whatever one’s position. 

A woman, to be sure, should be permitted by law to choose what she wishes to do with her body. At the same time, it can’t be ignored that a fetus, despite its size and stage of development, is not an organ of the one carrying it. It can have a different blood type, a different skin color, even — as is the case roughly half the time — a different sex. The DNA in its cells is not that of the one in whom it is gestating. That is not religion; it is science.

So leaving each state’s voters to balance respect for personal freedom with respect for nascent life, as a reversal of Roe would do, strikes me as reasonable, while the howls of outrage at that scenario strike me as overwrought. There are two important and conflicting concerns to be weighed against one another here, and the weighing isn’t accomplished by chants and placards. 

Roe was a sledgehammer, and wrongly wielded. In the wake of its reversal, citizens in each state would be charged with using a scalpel to instead craft laws that treat nascent life with respect while accommodating the protection of women’s well-being.

The shouting should stop, and the thinking begin.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Offers Critique of Roe v. Wade During Law School Visit

Meredith Heagney
May 15, 2013
“My criticism of Roe is that it seemed to have stopped the momentum on the side of change,” Ginsburg said. She would’ve preferred that abortion rights be secured more gradually, in a process that included state legislatures and the courts, she added. Ginsburg also was troubled that the focus on Roe was on a right to privacy, rather than women’s rights.

“Roe isn’t really about the woman’s choice, is it?” Ginsburg said. “It’s about the doctor’s freedom to practice…it wasn’t woman-centered, it was physician-centered.”