A Personal Look at Roe v. Wade

As you may know, today is the 37th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court ruling that federally legalized abortion in America. And for the first time in my life I have come to realize it is likely that, when I die, this ruling will still not have been overturned.

When Roe was first announced I was eighteen years old and, at the time, I have to admit it seemed a logical result of the reigning American political and moral condition. In retrospect and looked at theologically, the Greek word kairos comes to mind — to use the words of Lutheran theologian Paul Tillich, kairos means a event was made possible by a “constellation of factors.”

Theology is applicable here because abortion and Roe have always been given religious overtones, as if the United States Supreme Court had actually taken on the mantle of an early church council deciding a controversial heresy. In truth, this question seemed far less theological than appeasing. It seemed to me that the fact the question had been asked at all showed a deep unhappiness within many sections of American culture, but within the heart and minds of women in particular.

As I’ve mentioned before, I grew up in a conservative Midwestern suburb, and as such I spent my childhood watching and listening to unhappy women. (For those of you reading this who are under thirty, I’m not sure you are capable of adequately comprehending how miserable many of these woman were.) My friends and I saw them everyday when we came home from school. We would often find them sitting at their kitchen tables chain-smoking or talking on the phone. Some of them were never out of their bathrobes, and others had achieved the status of the “toilet alcoholic,” a breed of woman who hid her bottle of vodka in the bathroom and would venture in there every so often to drink behind locked doors.

Sure, there were women who liked their lot in life, but there were enough who did not that we Midwestern males knew something was going to have to give. The intellectuals articulated this all over the airwaves as feminism, but we Midwestern males knew it was a rejection of a social order that we were taught everyday needed to be preserved in the face of the communist threat against Judeo-Christian society throughout the world. We knew something big was coming, you see, because it had always been the women who had picked and nutured the religious beliefs within the suburban family, and they were turning against the religious beliefs and institutions of America. The men I knew in the 1950s and 60s were much more cynical about religion than the women, perhaps because they had spent too much time fighting in wars. My father often told me that religion was for children and old people; women saw religion as a binding glue that held the morality of the family in place.

By 1965, however, we began hearing the outcry against organized religion and how it imposed its beliefs on society. It was male-dominated, the outcry, intent on preserving woman as domestic breeders. The word “breeder” was endlessly thrown at us males in the attempt to make it clear that we thought of females as little else as breeding machines, and that until such a perspective ceased to be, women would never be free. They would spend their lives at the mercy of men. In order for a change to occur, either religion had to change or society had to change, but when push came to shove, they would abandon their religion and change society. A lot of people only went to church once a week, after all, but a person lives in society every day.

The left made great strides in this issue by preaching the idea that American society had to be changed structurally. It was not enough to say that women should be free to exercise their freedom to choose their own lives — society had to be re-organized or that freedom would never be achieved. Therefore, Roe vs. Wade is not as assertion of freedom as many of the people who look down upon today’s March For Life with scorn might say, it is a re-structuring of the social fabric of society. Women were told that they alone could decide the reproductive future of society, an assertion which on the surface may have been liberating for some but nonetheless attempted to remove the idea that the state had no interest in whether its children were or were not born. To express this idea in a less chilling fashion, consider the old joke about the vegetarian who was asked why he chose not to eat meat: “This is not about me,” he replied. “This is about the chicken.”

In the eyes of pro-life supporters, this appeasement to the condition of woman was used as an excuse to justify the immorality of the 1960’s sexual revolution. There may be some truth in that, but the sexual revolution never took over a vast majority of America the way the desire to promulgate the rights of women did. A woman can remain a virgin, after all, but still want to be free. What actually destroyed the sexual revolution was the onslaught of diseases linked to sexual promiscuity and the natural inclination of people to behave more moderately when they get older.  Even liberals.  My experience taught me that many women wanted to live in a society that saw them the way men were seen. A man who was a doctor, for example, was regarded by society as a doctor who had children, not as a father who was also a doctor. These women believed this could not be achieved without their ability to determine when they would have children with no outside interference of any kind.

In conjunction with learning this side of Midwestern women, I learned about federalism. I have a brother who is three years older than I am, so he got to venture into the licentious halls of the local university in 1970 when I was a sophmore in high school. He brought home the college newspaper, and when I read it I saw an ad for a weekend travel package that provided air travel, accommodations and an abortion in New York for one low price. In my naivete, I had never fully considered that a crime was only a crime if it occurred in a particular place. The old westerns that were shown regularly on television would depict Old Mexico as the place to run if you wanted to live somewhere without any law, but now that idea went state to state. Murder in Ohio or Kentucky was considered a medical procedure in New York.

My friends and I also knew this would not last. We felt it had to go one way or another, with the root of that feeling almost bordering on President Abraham Lincoln’s 1858 statement that “a house divided against itself cannot stand.” States’ rights had already been under severe attack from the civil rights movement and the attacks against the Jim Crow laws in the American south. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court did not seem to understand that an immoral act made legal for everyone is not superior to bad decisions made by individual states. Federalism, though, had a cornerstone laid in place with Roe vs. Wade that has not been removed.

Two years ago the modern ramifications of the abortion issue were illustrated to me on one of my rides home from Philadelphia on the commuter train. A young woman sitting beside me on a Friday afternoon ride smelled as if she had stopped at the bar in the train station for an hour or so before boarding the train. She spoke slowly and deliberately, and occasionally looked as if she would fall asleep. About half way through the ride she turned to me and blurted out the following:

“My father is a doctor. You didn’t know that, did you? When my mother was pregnant with me he did some tests and they were going to have me aborted. But then the test came out okay, so I got to be born.” She smiled at what must have been a classically confused look on my face and added: “Are you happy about that?”

To this day, I still do not know if this story is true, but she gave the impression that she wanted someone to tell her they were glad she was alive. I, of course, told her I was happy she had been born, but I politely avoided commenting about her father.

The point is this story is very possible. I have read religious commentaries which contend that 80 percent of children with Down’s Syndrome are aborted. America has gone beyond women’s rights and federalism in the abortion issue. Science has made the abortion issue an issue of eugenics. It may be that abortions are about an individual woman making choices, but now these abortions can be done in the name of removing genetically defective people from society. Considering that, it seems even more unlikely that as things stand now we’ll see Roe overturned — after all, so much of the current debate over medicine and health care centers on questions about caring for people who are a burden to society.

Back in August of last year, Jeff Schreiber here at America’s Right wondered aloud whether ObamaCare was really “Cash For Clunkers II.” According to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, ObamaCare may be dead in the water, but the underlying tendency to look at America’s seniors as “clunkers” could also have application when it comes to the most defenseless among us as well.  The actual Cash For Clunkers program was done under the guise of saving the environment from the nonsense that is man-made global warming — what happens when that same sentiment is applied to people?

When the issue was purely moral, the right-to life movement always had the higher ground and always will.  It’s a matter of life. That issue will be seriously muddled, however, when the discussion turns to population control in an effort to save the environment, a bankrupt government and ever-decreasing resources. As the left will see it and spin it, to be pro-life will mean you are against the existence of the American nation and the Earth as a whole.

President Barack Obama, as a state lawmaker, once opposed a measure which would ensure that babies who survived a botched abortion would receive medical care and not be left to die.  Anybody concerned about life and the natural rights of those who cannot speak up for themselves should have no confidence in knowing that it is Obama, Senate leader Harry Reid, House Speaker Pelosi, and liberal Supreme Court Justices like Sonia Sotomayor will have a say in who lives and who dies. Right now, it appears as though the left has all the bases covered to prevent a change in Roe vs. Wade anytime soon.

Regardless, it should come as a comfort to know that today’s March For Life in Washington, D.C. will be well-attended.  Even if President Obama is not watching, God is.

—————

Ronald Glenn has worked in real estate and law for more than twenty years. He now works in Philadelphia, and lives outside the city with his wife. Ron has been writing for America’s Right since January 2009.

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Comments

  1. elspeth says:

    Ronald,

    I read every word of your article hoping to see something like, “If I were a woman, I would feel…” I can’t help think that men have a unique view on the subject because it doesn’t affect their body one way or the other.

    When younger, I felt, if impregnated by a rapist, I would opt for an abortion and was glad the law covered me in that regard. In many respects, I still do.

    But after years of seeing our society turn from Our Father’s will, I do not feel government has any place in the decision of a woman who chooses abortion. I would like to see Roe vs Wade overturned if only for the simple fact that abortion would no longer be a means of voluntary “birth control”.

    Of course, there’s a lot I would change about our world, if only I could.

    As always, thanks for your contributions here at America’s Right, one of my favorite blogs.

    elspeth

  2. Michelle Zhang says:

    What bothers me a lot about the focus of some women’s rights is the obsession with the idea that “women can be like men.” The idea that “male qualities” are somehow better and more desirable thatn “female qualities.” I as a Feminist don’t fight because I want to be more like men, I fight because I want society to realize that there’s nothing wrong with being female.

  3. TNelson says:

    My wife and I were put into a situation similar to the one the ‘doctor’ told his daughter about. Or, our good Doctor tried to put us in it.

    Based on flimsy research with ultrasound as its only test, we were strongly admonished for not taking further test to determine whether or not to abort our first child. Our answer was that it did not matter what the results were; the tests are risky and we didn’t want to take the chance of miscarriage. The doctor didn’t like that, and continued to advise us to consider abortion. We found another doctor.

    I wish that doctor could have been in the delivery room when our son was born. Would he put a bullet in the head of my newborn son? Does he even understand he was trying to do just that months earlier? No, I don’t think they get it. I’m afraid that many americans don’t.

    We are headed down the same path with our elderly…as long as we don’t have to look at it, all can be justified. “Just sweep it under the rug, and don’t confront me about it” seems to be the attitude.

    And Michelle is 100% correct. What is wrong with being female? In my (entirely wrong) opinion (I’m male and can’t possibly have a valid point regarding feminism… and I’m o.k. with that), Feminists should be trying to be the best they can be as a human who happens to be female…period. It shouldn’t be about being ‘better’ than men, or ‘as good’ as men, or competing with men…it should be about living up to your full potential. If that puts you at the top of the list regardless of what sex you are, then that’s great!

    Besides, every man knows that in civilized societies, it is really the women who call all the shots! Whether we want to admit it is another thing, but I believe it to be the truth more than not. It’s a good thing that’s the case too, or we wouldn’t have much of a civilization. It’s not merely coincidence that male dominated societies that treat women as property and such do not prosper…..

  4. William A. Rose says:

    Great article. I believe abortion is simply murder. Would all of you agree that mankind (us, you and me) should strive with every bit of our being to live the way God tells us in His Word? If you said “yes”, then what follows will sound radical. If you said “no”, what follows will still sound radical.

    Men have their place and role in life. Women have their place and role in life. It is spelled out clearly in God’s Word. Neither is better than the other. Men no longer know how to be men. Because of this, women have been forced to put themselves in that role. Women no longer know how to be women. Because of that, men have been forced to put themselves in that role. Men and women should compliment each other, not usurp each other’s roles.

    For me, a woman is an absolute treasure. And, for a man that is fortunate enough to have a woman, you’d better understand she is a gift from God. Love her. Provide for her. Protect her. WITH YOUR VERY LIFE IF NEED BE.

  5. 2010, 2012 says:

    why kill a child?
    if you were raped what is wrong with bringing the child into the world and letting someone else have the honor of shaping that life… THAT LIFE! you dont even have to see the child, just allow it to CONTINUE living…

    once a child takes life within, it is a LIFE within. taking away the breath of that LIFE is simply murder.

  6. 2010, 2012 says:

    Michelle Zhang says:
    January 22, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    great post. well said.

  7. Randy Wills says:

    Thanks, Ronald, for shining a light on this fundamental sin of our present-day culture. The term “Pro-choice” in nothing more than a euphemism for “my pleasure is worth more than my child’s life”, and once a society accepts that premise, it’s a small step to a general public acceptance of policies that determine who lives and who doesn’t.

    As happy as I am that a Republican won in MA on Tuesday, I am deeply disappointed in Scott Brown’s position on abortion (personally pro-choice but professes to believe that the Federal government should let the states make their own laws regarding abortion).

    As I stated in a earlier article, I encourage all who are pro-life to sign the Manhattan Declaration.

    Randy

  8. Leah says:

    Our radio station plays a piece each day called the legal minute. There was one a few weeks ago where a woman got pregnant, and her husband wanted her to have the baby. The woman did not. The father had no right in the case; the woman was allowed to abort. Morally, I know the argument is wrong. I can’t figure out the legal argument. It is just wrong.

    People need to see all this for what it really is. This is an attack on every moral and right feeling we have. This is why they keep cramming it down our throats, along with gay marriage. Destroy morality and you will be able to sweep in and shove socialism down with it. It is the first step.

    How long until the global warming religion wants us to only have one child?

    BTW, I was pressured very heavily when I was expecting number seven to do amnio. I kept refusing. There was no point. I was not going to abort. The test would not show up anything that would “save” the baby. The only thing it would do was put the pregnancy at risk. I went through 3 months of badgering before I said something to my doctor. She was so mad. She called the high risk ultra-sound doctor and gave them an earful. This was NOT why she sent me there. She only sent me there to get information. The u/s place actually told me to LIE to my rabbi so I could have the amnio done. Yeah, like THAT was going to happen. BTW, my baby was born perfectly healthy in every way, thank G-d.

  9. forex robot says:

    Keep posting stuff like this i really like it

  10. Stella Barbut says:

    When did men start using the word “Woman” in a derisory way? The Bible’s definition of “Woman” is, according to Adam ” Now this is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh, therefore she shall be called Woman because she was taken from the man.” So it stands to reason that when men insult and demean women, they insult and demean themselves.
    Moreover God did not take two separate lumps of mud, one superior and one inferior. He made the man out of mud, then He took the flesh and bone He had created and made the woman. So isn’t the woman made the superior creature?
    Should women strive to become equal to the inferior?

  11. Stella Barbut says:

    A Requeim For The Womb. written 29.9.2009.

    The womb was once the place where life began
    Now it is the place where life ends!
    Alas! I am Abortion’s Child!
    You stand accused Mother!
    You killed my Sister!
    You killed my Brother!
    Then you let Me live!
    Etched into the walls of your womb
    Which confined me
    Were pictures of their terrified faces
    Their cries of pain
    As you ripped them apart
    Drowned them, burned them
    In strong salt
    As you chopped them up alive
    Are throbbing sonic waves filling your womb,
    Your womb reeks of Auschwitz
    Of extermination camps,
    How could I learn Peace, Love, Mother?
    In your house of horrors, your womb?
    I wallowed in and swallowed
    The juices secreted by their terror
    As I too waited in terror
    Should you change your mind!
    Would it be a knife? salt? suction?
    That would tear me to pieces?
    I look at you and you and you
    And my soul recoils in revulsion!
    How can you talk of peace, love,
    How can you demonstrate against war?
    Standing as you are
    On mountains of tiny hands and feet,
    Of arms and legs and heads?
    As you contemplate and glory
    In the mansions you killed and killed
    In order to save and build?
    Would you pass those blood-soaked
    Monstrosities to me? your progeny?
    Never! Never! Never! I reject with horror,
    Confused thoughts swirl like dark mist
    And crash in sonic booms inside my brain!
    They must not stand
    These monuments to wholesale murder!
    I must tear them down with my bare hands
    Burn Destroy! Destroy Burn!
    It’s my Destiny!
    Alas! Alas! I am Abortion’s Child!

  12. nana3 says:

    I remember reading years ago that the great gospel singer, Ethel Waters was conceived as the result of a rape. God used her life and what a blessing she was to those around her. Everytime I heard her sing ” His Eye Is On The Sparrow” I thought how true that God also has His eye on every one of us and knows us before we are even conceived. I wish everyone could realize what an awesome creation each life is and what the potential is if God is allowed to use it for His purpose.

  13. Michelle Zhang says:

    Choice is a choice is a choice they say.
    You can’t take that away,no no you can’t take it away.
    A woman isn’t a woman isn’t a woman today
    Without a choice, that choice, what choice I pray?
    To live, to die, to take, to break.
    What you carry inside, you can’t hide, you suffer the pain.
    This choice, one choice, what choice in vain.
    Empowering, liberating, your freedom, insane.
    You can’t fight the stains, not the deep stains
    Already ingrained. The memories again and again.
    A life for a life, precious balance in your hands.
    They dismiss it, they confuse it, they shout across the land,
    “Oppression oppression. They do not understand.
    Your body, only your body, all at your command.”
    My body, only my body? Now I don’t understand.
    If no other, why bother, why worry, why lost?
    If only you, no other, would it be worth the cost?

  14. Linda B. says:

    Thank you for the article on abortion. Let me first say I do not believe the government has any business making laws on these issues. I lived in New Jersey when Roe vs. Wade became law. I was one of the original protesters with a group of people who were from various walks of life. Many of the group were nurses who at that time did not have any job protection. They were not allowed to take care of a baby who survived abortion and those babies were set aside to die. I learned much about the left and their ability to influence the press and control what people got to see and hear. There are some misconceptions on abortion: In case of rape for example is used as an excuse for all abortions. Any woman who is raped needs to go to the hospital. The hospital as a part of the rape scenario performs a process called the “washing in” which essentially kills all sperm so their will not no conception thus another reason to go to the hospital and be treated.

    There are also several tupes of processes medical personnel use in abortion.
    1. The suction-curettage – a doctor uses a knife to scrape the baby out of the womb by cutting it apart and with the use of a vacuum sucking it out.
    2. The salting process – a doctor injects a saline solution into the womb and kills the baby by burning the with the salt. These babies are known as candy apple babies since that is what they look like when expelled from the womb.
    3. The hysterotomy abortion – this is performed in the final months of pregnancy or even as we know til the final moment. This is actually a hysterectomy only the baby is not born alive. The doctor will cut the cord and then submerge the baby back into the fluid and literally drowned him/her.

    We treat animals more humanly than our own young. In addition I saw first hand what many women who never really thought about what they were doing, changed their minds when they really had children. Emotionally many had severe problems. Statistics are now showing that because of abortion and massive birth control in European countries, they will be dying out leaving the door open for those who immigrate to control these countries.

    Obama has closer than any one yet in his programs to now focus on the elderly. Back when Roe vs. Wade came into law, we who were part of the right-to-life movement knew it was only a question of time. Since we in this country have had abortion since that time and birth control has also limited the number of children born in this country we are now at the point we have an inverted pyramid. There are more people retired or retiring than there are young people. This is economically a catastrophe for the government. How will they be able to afford to take care of theses people and still maintain their status in the world? To those who saw nothing wrong with Roe vs. Wade, the solution is to eliminate the large numbers of elderly who contribute nothing to the government. This is what Obama is espousing in his medical programs.

    Finally, when I was young I used to write information for the people in my church. I was looking for something about abortion when I found this from the bible. When Jesus was making his way to Calvary carrying his cross, there were a group of women weeping by the side of the road. He stopped and spoke to them saying weep not for me, but for your children For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed….For if they do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

    For if they can do these things to the Unborn, what will happen to the aged?

  15. Julie says:

    That picture is really fucking creepy

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