Today marks the anniversary of the landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court on the issue of abortion, Roe v. Wade. Here’s some history of the court’s decision:
Decided simultaneously with a companion case, Doe v. Bolton, the Court ruled 7–2 that a right to privacy under the due process clause of the 14th Amendment extended to a woman’s decision to have an abortion, but that right must be balanced against the state’s two legitimate interests in regulating abortions: protecting prenatal life and protecting women’s health. Arguing that these state interests became stronger over the course of a pregnancy, the Court resolved this balancing test by tying state regulation of abortion to the trimester of pregnancy.
In 2011, 92 abortion restrictions were passed in 24 states and in 2012, 19 states enacted 43 provisions restricting access to abortion services. So as we “celebrate” (and I use the term hesitantly) the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, does anyone know where one can obtain an abortion in a timely fashion without mortgaging their house?
In a perfect world there would be no need for abortions, women would not be sexually assaulted, and children would have no need to fear their own family members. But that isn’t the world we live in. We must protect those who are vulnerable and we must put an end to all types of violence. So forty years later, the struggle to preserve access to abortion is even more daunting than the fight to legalize it was.
Love to hear your thoughts on this controversial issue.