Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), was a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in which the Court ruled that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides a fundamental "right to privacy" that protects a pregnant woman's liberty to choose whether or not to have an abortion.
The case began in Texas when a woman (Jane Roe) sued the Dallas County District Attorney. Prior to this case, women were only able to obtain an abortion if her life was at risk. The law as it stood prior to 1973 took the choice out of a woman's hands. Women had abortions before Roe v. Wade, but they were not safe or legal. Women died having unsafe abortions. It was first argued in 1971, reargued in 1972, and decided in 1973. For 46 years women have had this right, but today it's under attack.
We've all heard the term, "elections have consequences" and this has never been more evident than now. #45 was able to install a "Friendly Supreme Court", one that leans so far right, it could topple over. Although both Gorsuch and Kavanaugh said Roe v. Wade was settled law, I'm not so sure they won't vote to get rid of it. As I write this, there are 8 states that have passed restrictive abortion laws in 2018 and now the Supreme Court will hear my state's (Louisiana) case. In 2014 Louisiana used Target Regulations of Abortion Providers (TRAP) Law to restrict abortion in that state. "The Louisiana law, like the Texas law, requires physicians performing abortions to obtain admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the facility. Abortion providers and advocates contend that the requirement is unnecessary for providing safe continuing medical care, while having the effect of shuttering clinics that cannot comply with this requirement." Adrienne Ghorashi, Bill of Health
There are "Heartbeat Bills", which basically state a woman cannot terminate once a heartbeat is detected. Heartbeats are normally detected by week 6; most women don't even know they're pregnant at 6 weeks. In good old Alabama, Governor Ivey signed the most restrictive abortion law by banning all abortions--allowing a woman to terminate ONLY if her life is at extreme risk even in the cases of rape and incest. In some states there are very few abortion providers; some states have only one provider. This is all happening by design. On top of all of this, the Supreme Court is slated to hear Louisiana's TRAP Law in 2020, making a decision by June. I think Roe v. Wade is seriously in trouble.
In 1987 I was 21 years old, with a 4-year-old son. I'd broken up with his dad and was dating someone else. I was on the pill and thought pregnancy was the last thing I had to worry about. Nope, it didn't happen like that. I found out I was pregnant and to complicate things even further, I'd been seeing my son's father on the side. It was at this time that I made one of the hardest decisions of my life. I was working at McDonald's making minimum wage, living with my grandmother, and as I stated, I was seeing two guys. I agonized over this dilemma of whether or not to add another child (that wasn't planned nor could I afford) to the mix or terminate? I made the decision to terminate. I am forever grateful that I had that choice. I didn't make the decision out of the blue; I agonized over it for weeks. I got advice from friends who'd had abortions (almost every one of my friends had either had an abortion or paid for an abortion). We all said how grateful we were for having the ability to CHOOSE. Now here we are...AGAIN.
Women who had abortions before Roe v. Wade were at risk for sterilization, infection, and even death. A former coworker told me about his maternal grandmother's death due to a botched abortion. She died when his mom was a toddler. If abortion had been legal and safe, she and countless other women would have lived to nice old ages. The thing that's been keeping me up at night is my fear that if the Anti-Choice folks have their way, we could go back to those dark times.
A woman should have agency over her own body. The decision should be left up to her, not up to an elected official who will not have to care for, feed, clothe, nor educate the child. The same government officials who overwhelmingly vote to cut SNAP, Medicaid, Education, and Housing, all programs that the babies they fight for may need. I was Pro-Choice in 1983 when I had my son at 17 years of age, I was Pro-Choice in 1987 when I had an abortion, and I'm Pro-Choice today. Being Pro-Choice does not mean I advocate abortion. No, it means I trust women enough to know they will make the best decisions for themselves.
As Tiffany Marrero is fond of saying, "Abortion is self-care"!