Many years from now, I think I’ll remember where I was when I heard the news that documents had been leaked related to a Supreme Court opinion on Roe v. Wade, the controversial landmark decision from 1973 which made abortion legal throughout the country.
I feel like I can’t let myself get too excited until the decision is officially overturned. Justices who have reportedly sided with reversing Roe can still change their minds. But it is exciting that overturning the decision looks to be a real possibility.
To be honest, it’s not something I ever thought I’d see.
If the changes go forward, the work will not be done for either side as the issue would go back to the states. It’s estimated that 20-26 states could ban abortion. Blue states like California and New York would allow abortion full term. Other states would be in between and allow abortions to ceratin points or under certain circumstances.
Before Roe v. Wade was decided by the Supreme Court in 1973, 30 states had made abortion illegal and it was only allowed under certain circumstances in 16 more. We hear a lot about democracy and “threats to democracy.” Roe was a threat to our humanity. Roe went against the will of the people and in the process, led to horrendous casualties.
We’ve made termination the easy way out over choosing life. We’ve undermined the value of life of those conceived in cases of rape and incest and made them political pawns as if their lives are expendable. We’ve talked about people being raised in less stable families as if they’d be better not being able to live at all. Millions of people who have lived through similarly challenging upbringings would beg to differ.
In the 50 years since Roe, I think of the sixty millions of babies who have been aborted and I don’t understand how anyone doesn’t find that number heartbreaking to every American. Tens of millions of lives have been created and terminated. Tens of millions of lives have been created yet never got to be lived. We’ve devalued life. We’ve taken something precious and made it a problem to be dealt with. We’ve taken something as tragic as abortion and turned it into a big business, both for abortion providers and those who work to lobby on its behalf.
If this decision goes well, many will demonize the Supreme Court. There will be those who talk about adding more justices, about trying to pass federal laws which allow abortion, of trying to ban the fillibuster. But for the justices who look set to reverse Roe, if they hold true to that decision, millions of lives will be saved.
Fifty years of this barbarity. I think of the millions of lives lost but also the kids and grandkids those people would have had. At the end of the movie Schindler’s List, they give Liam Neeson (who plays Oskar Schindler) a ring with an inscription from the Talmud which says “whoever saves one life, saves the world entire.”
Tonight at dinner, I was looking at my six month old son and I thought “for all I know, this decision could save the life of his future wife.”
Again, there is work to be done and the pro-choice side will never let this go and will fight fiercely for a woman’s so called right to have an abortion. But for those who stand for life, this is an exciting day.
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