Roe turns 40…pretty beaten up–January 22
Most Americans remain opposed to overturning the controversial Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, which 40 years ago legalized abortion at least in the first three months of pregnancy, according to a poll released Wednesday.
The poll by the Pew Research Center found that 63 percent of Americans believe that Roe v. Wade should not be completely overturned, compared to 29 percent who believe it should be. These opinions have changed little from surveys conducted in 2003 and 1992, Pew reported.
While many of the social issues have changed over the years, American opinions really haven’t changed all that much. Accessibility to abortion has certainly gotten tighter. 4 states are down to having one clinic left and if anti-choice activists have their way, there will be no abortion services in Mississippi, South Dakota, Arkansas, or North Dakota. Clinic directors and doctors are often stalked. In no other business would this kind of behavior be legally allowed.
Why are services shrinking? Anti choice forces continue to whittle away at abortion rights on the state level. Additionally, fewer physicians provide the service, mainly because activists harass doctors who provide services. It is impossible for providers to offer more than one service.
Virginia is in danger of losing many of its clinics because of recently enacted TARP laws. Clinics providing abortion services were selected and targetted to undergo extreme structural changes like those in a hospital , under the guise of patient safety, last year. The regulations are disingenuous. Other out-patient clinics offering other services were not singled out for special structural changes and higher standards. An attempt was made by the state health department committee to grandfather in the existing clinics. The Attorney General over-rules this group’s effort. Ultra-sound mandates are also required for Virginia women seeking an abortion, adding expense to an already costly service.
So rights aren’t necessarily rights. We know that on January 22, 1973 the Roe v Wade Decision was handed down by the Supreme Court. Since that day, there has been a never-ending assault on the rights contained within that decision.
How do Americans feel about the issue of legal abortion? Those opposed to abortion have certainly won the war of words. They would describe themselves as “pro life.” Well, who the hell is “anti-life”? No one. No one is pro-abortion. However, many “pro-life” people call those who fight for abortion to remain safe, legal and rare, “pro-abortion.” Let’s look at some of the demographics:
…[T]he abortion issue shows only modest generational differences, and no gender gap.
Those most likely to favor upholding Roe v. Wade at 69 percent are the “baby boomers” aged 50-64, who were children or young adults when the case was decided on January 22, 1973. This group was followed by those 18-29 years old, who favored upholding the decision by 68 percent.
There are still wide religious differences over whether to overturn Roe v. Wade and the morality of abortion, the poll found. White evangelical Protestants are the only religious group in which a majority – 54 percent – favors overturning the decision.
Large percentages of white mainline Protestants (76 percent), black Protestants (65 percent) and white Catholics (63 percent) say the ruling should not be overturned.
Should Roe v Wade be overturned sometime in the future, abortion would revert to the states. Most states have it covered already. Let’s face it, most people rarely think about abortion. It is a sad chapter in life of women who feel they must end a pregnancy, for whatever reason. Activists on both sides are keeping the engines of change going. Its very possible that the average American has no clue what is going on in their state house or even Congress as it relates to this deeply personal situation.
The only time most people pay attention is if they or someone near and dear to them find themselves in a bad situation and need the service. If Americans don’t wake up and take a stand, then should that day ever come, it just might be too late. Legal abortion could very well become illegal. The candles on that 40th birthday cake are flickering and burning a little too close to the cake.