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Pro-choicers say 'Keep your laws off my body'

by Saida Oliver, '05

As many celebrated the 31st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, others continue to urge reversing the landmark decision. Sarah Weddington, the Texas lawyer who argued Roe v. Wade in the Supreme Court comments on the recent reversal. “At the time, I thought it had been written in concrete, but now I see it’s sandstone.” In 1973, The Supreme Court recognized that the U.S. Constitution implies the right to privacy, which encompassed the right to terminate a pregnancy. The court determined that if the woman’s life or health were at stake, abortion could not be banned, no matter what the stage of pregnancy.

Saida Oliver

 

President Bush recently passed the bill to ban late-term abortions. This huge restriction on pregnant women creates a dangerous standard for government interference in the health of all women. If reelected, Bush will urge legislation to take away a woman’s right to choose to terminate her pregnancy in the first trimester.

Late term, second and third trimester abortions are relatively more complicated than early term, first trimester abortions. The late-term procedure is used in cases where it is safer than inducing labor. It also protects a woman’s future ability to deliver a healthy baby.

Many pregnancies are wanted, but not every pregnancy goes as planned. Some women find in the third trimester that their fetus is extremely deformed or that they are in danger of dying if they continue their pregnancy. The bizarre fact about the bill Bush signed is that it makes no exception for the health of the mother. Anti-choicers describe women having late-term abortions assert that their excuses are convenient. But, if the fetus is too premature to live outside of the womb, and the woman’s health will be damaged by the full-term delivery, which may kill both the mother and the child. Where is the life being saved?

The ultimate goal for Bush and his practically all-male administration is to end first-term abortions. In the Supreme Court, the woman’s right to abortion hangs on a single vote. If a pro-choice justice steps down from the bench, then President Bush has said that he will appoint a judge opposed to abortion which will secure a 5-4 anti-choice vote.

A few careless women might use abortions for contraceptive purposes. Most, however, are careful. But accidents happen. Some pregnancies result from incest or rape. Why should anyone other than the pregnant woman decide what she should do with her body? Why should a government of men dictate the future of women? It mustn’t go on!

 

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