Saturday, July 6, 2013
My Way or the Highway
I grew up thinking that Roe v. Wade was settled law, and it was never discussed at the kitchen table. It wasn't like there was " what do you think about abortion and by the way, pass the mashed potatoes.” I really hate that this issue is at the Federal level because it prevents us from working on more important issues, and I'm not saying it in a way to disrespect the pro-life movement. That group will nobility continue working in shifts, 24/7 -365 days a year, fighting for the rights of the unborn.
It's getting to where a person like me cannot ignore the issue any longer because every day I hear of a Republican controlled state passing another intrusive abortion law, in the dead of the night without the debate or hearings. Yesterday,Wisconsin governor Scott Walker signed a mandated ultrasound law along with closing more abortion clinics. Republican legislators across our country would not only criminalize abortion after 20 weeks but they would close down most abortion clinics and effectively close all of them with harsh restrictions. I think a rational person knows that this will only make it harder and less safe for poor women seeking an abortion. We know that the upper middle class and rich people will be able to afford other means to get an abortion. You only have to look back 40 years to verify the realities.
The rhetoric is over the top on this issue because how can you call a young 17- year-old girl a murderer for following the advice from her physician, her conscience and family members? I'm not ready to turn that decision over to the government ,nor would I as a juror vote to convict her or her doctor of murder. The term pro- abortion and murder doesn't stop with the woman and her doctor, it goes to all those who don’t believe life starts at conception. That could be Planned Parenthood, Democrats, and people who call themselves pro -choice. Even I know that so- called abortion clinics like Planned Parenthood provide preventive care, family planning, STD testing, cancer screening, and abortion is about 3% of what they do. Think about it, not accepting Medicaid expansions and closing down these clinics will be devastating for poor women.The Texas Health Department projected that the current legislation will produce an additional 24,000 births and that’s in a state where 25% of its citizens are uninsured. According to what I have heard,Texas Democrats are not necessarily balking on the 20-week abortion ban but the necessity of such legislation. Texas is funding 176 fewer clinics than it did in 2011 and 200,000 women have already lost their only access to birth control and cancer screening and there is no provision for rape or incest. The Democratic politicians also know that this legislation is just one of many coming down the road. They know that GOP controlled states are chipping away at Roe v. Wade.
Abortion is a sensitive issue, but it's also being used as a political football to score political points with the pro-life groups. For example, Senator Marco Rubio might introduce a 20- week abortion ban to gain back some conservative street credit that he lost for supporting and leading the Senate immigration reform bill. The House of Representatives have already passed a 20- week abortion ban knowing that it will not pass the Senate, but it keeps the money and votes flowing in. Having said that, I have to acknowledge that a lot of them would support a 20-week abortion bill on core principle beliefs anyway.
While the pro-life movement has gained strength in recent years because of the technology like sonograms ,which show the baby’s movements, it's still an emotional and divisive issue. Polls show that people are overwhelming against late -term abortions but they are also for keeping Roe v. Wade. Unfortunately this issue is being fought on religious and political grounds, so the battles will continue. It seems to me like we could convene an all women panel from both sides to come up with a workable solution because we have already seen what we get when men , who will will never have to endure childbirth, are left to make the decisions.
One of the first questions that a potential supreme court judge will be asked during the Senate confirmation is his stance on Roe v. Wade. Every nominee so far has invoked “Stare Decisis” when they answer that question. I wonder why that is? In reality, I think if one of the more radical abortion bills gets to the supreme court, the John Roberts conservative leaning court would seriously consider overturning Roe v Wade by a 5-4 margin. You should consider that when you vote for a president.