Last Saturday marked the 38th anniversary of the United States Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in the case of Roe v. Wade, which, amongst a plethora of other things, finally etched in stone the legality of a woman’s choice to terminate her pregnancy. One would imagine that such an event would be merely an afterthought in our nation’s political consciousness, as, after all, nobody ever really causes a commotion over the anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education or Plessy v. Ferguson, whose outcomes were of far greater importance to American legal history.
Sadly, he or she would be very wrong. This year, both hardline supporters and foes of women’s reproductive rights did what they always do: shamelessly manipulated the residual effects of Roe v. Wade to suit their respective political agendas. On the so-called “Right,” newly elected Kentucky Senator Rand Paul used the occasion to promote legislation which would effectively criminalize usage of the morning-after pill as an assault on a human being, while those on the “Left” blamed the horrific actions of a Philadelphia abortion clinic operator on the notions of frugality held by a majority of taxpayers.
I honestly cannot fathom why it would be so difficult for us, as Americans, with our widely varying views on the ethics of pregnancy termination, to simply come together in the realization that Roe v. Wade is settled law. Each of us can agree or disagree with the idea of choosing to abort an embryo or a fetus, but to lewdly protest or vulgarly flaunt the legitimacy of Roe v. Wade is simply intolerable in a truly civilized society. For the sake of our nation’s public discourse, reproductive matters should simply be left out of the political process. Yes, several partisans and shock jocks might very well find themselves out of a job, but, as all rational thinkers can conclude, that would most certainly be for the better.
Then, maybe, just maybe, our nation could for the first time have a discussion of substance regarding Roe v. Wade.Powered by Sidelines