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Archive for January 22nd, 2012


Thirty-Nine Years Later: The Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court Decision

Today marks the 39th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. In the news today, several journalists write that the decision is responsible for saving numerous women from unnecessary deaths resulting from illegal abortions. For example, Debby D’Arcangelo of The Star-Ledger notes that abortion was the official cause of death for approximately 2,700 women in 1930. Although this statistic is from the distant past, it does drive home the point that improper abortions that took place before the Roe v. Wade decision often caused death. What this does not recognize or comment upon is that death may sometimes also result from legal and medically-sound abortions. From the years 1972 to 2003, there were 386 deaths caused by legal abortions. While this number is absolutely miniscule in comparison to the statistics from 1930, which strongly supports the decision to legalize abortion, and some deaths from any operation must be expected, it is still extremely unfortunate that any woman would lose her life as a result of the procedure.

The comments made above do not take into account any of the moral implications of aborting a fetus, but only focus on how the Supreme Court decision has affected the rights and well-being of women who have made the decision to abort. Obviously the reasoning behind the Supreme Court decision is much more complicated than this single facet.

The degrees to which the decision is accepted and rejected by the public are as varied as one can imagine. There are many Americans who interpret the decision as an attack on the sanctity of human life. In order to demonstrate this belief, tomorrow protesters against the pro-choice movement will meet in Washington D.C. for the 39th annual March for Life. Yet, for as many people that oppose the decision, there is an equal amount of supporters.

On this anniversary of the decision, please take a moment and think about Roe v. Wade one more time. No matter which side of the debate you believe in, today is as good as any day to reevaluate why you believe what you do.

Since Roe vs. Wade decision, 39 years of care for women – The Star-Ledger

Roe v. Wade: 39 Years Later – The Huffington Post

Women, their unborn children both deserve respect for rights – The Plain Dealer