Saturday marked the 33-year anniversary of the historic Roe v. Wade decision handed down by the Supreme Court. The anniversary takes on significant meaning now that the swing vote position of the high court, held by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, is on the cusp of being occupied by Judge Samuel Alito.
Alito refused during his Senate confirmation hearings to refer to the controversial decision as "settled law," leaving open the possibility that the case may be open for review.
We believe this issue has implications beyond a woman's right to do what she chooses with her body. The issue of privacy, civil liberties and executive powers are at the forefront of our nation's politics. Reversing a decision such as Roe v. Wade will continue the trend toward greater government restrictions on the lives of Americans.
The debate over the right to choose versus the rights of an unborn fetus will always be a volatile question in America. It seems irrational, however, to place restrictions on abortion at a time when birth control methods and sex education are being withheld from many public schools. This is to say nothing of the lack of logic in wanting to protect the lives of fetuses while supporting deadly wars and the death penalty.
Making abortions illegal will do nothing to remove the practice from our society. The best examples of this are the war on drugs and prostitution. As long as there is a market for a product or service in our country, there will be a supply pipeline. As with the case of drugs and prostitution, abortion services will simply move into a black market, making them more costly and dangerous to the people who can least afford it.
Anti-abortionists need to realize the best way to curb the termination of unwanted pregnancies is not through government restrictions, but through education and services.