January 22, 2005


Bush Undermining the Bedrock of Roe vs, Wade (Gloria Feldt, 1/22/05, TomPaine.com)

[O]ver the past three decades, anti-choice extremists have succeeded in chipping away at the foundations of Roe , imposing restrictions that limit women's access to necessary reproductive health care. Rights without access are meaningless—which is precisely their point.

And now, in the U.S. Supreme Court, one vote is all that stands between our cherished reproductive rights and the end of Roe v. Wade as we know it.

A central tenet of Roe holds that a woman's life comes first; no restrictions to abortion may be imposed that endanger women's lives or health. But this crucial safeguard is currently supported by the slenderest of margins: one vote. It's all but inevitable that the composition of the court will change sometime in the coming four years; replacing even one justice may tip the balance. The future of Roe —and of our reproductive rights—lies on a razor's edge.

As Supreme Court appointments are for life, what happens in the next four years may determine the how we live our lives for the next 40 years.

If Roe crumbles, it's not only our right to legal abortion that's at stake. Along with Supreme Court decisions establishing the right to birth control, Roe helped define the contours of the constitutional right to privacy, protecting us from unwarranted governmental interference in our private affairs. A world without Roe may signal the beginning of an era of intolerable intrusion into all our other reproductive choices—such as the decision to use birth control—and into our personal lives.

Would any of us want to live in a world where something as personal as our right to decide whether or not to have a child is subject to governmental review?

Strange as it seems, most people don't think the right to take the life of another is purely personal.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 22, 2005 9:24 AM

Of course, everybody knows that when they say "our right to decide whether or not to have a child", what they really mean is "our right to kill a [unborn] child".

Posted by: ray at January 22, 2005 3:27 PM

Roe v. Wade did nothing to affect the right to reproduce. When referring to "reproductive rights," does she instead really mean "nonreproductive rights?"

Posted by: George at January 22, 2005 5:48 PM

I am fairly certain that the author has not read the case.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at January 23, 2005 1:29 AM