Thu, Jun

A Response to Marc Ang's “Shaky Roe v. Wade Overturned” Article


VOICE IN THE CHEAP SEATS - Abortions were, are, and will always be controversial.  This is because honest people on both sides of the issue can never agree.

People in favor of outlawing abortions believe that Life begins at conception and that abortion is murder.  Consequently, they want to cede power over a woman's body to the State.  People in favor of providing legal abortions believe that a fetus is not a human being until it is fully developed.  Consequently, they want power over a woman's body to remain with the woman.  These two views are diametrically opposed.  One is based on religious faith.  The other on science.  They are not reconcilable. 

The fact is that nobody wants an abortion, least of all the women getting them.  They choose to get an abortion for a variety of reasons:  poverty, rape, incest, age of the mother and more.  Whatever the reason, the mother is desperate to resolve the issue … and in many cases, abortion is the only logical choice. 

The real issue here is not a philosophical one, it is a practical one.

How many women will die because Roe v Wade is overturned?

That's right.  Women will still get abortions.  Fewer to be sure, but many many illegal and unsafe abortions will kill or permanently injure desperate women seeking relief from untenable situations.  Is this what we want?  And those that are forced to endure the risks and costs of carrying an unwanted baby to term will then be burdened with raising and supporting that baby with no help from the State that forced her to do it.  Neither emotional nor financial distress of the mother is of any concern to the State.  If the child will not have enough food, clothing, or medical care, the State is not interested.  As long as the baby is in the womb, the State cares.  Ironically, once born, the baby is off the radar and no longer a concern of the State. 

And now there are new laws being proposed that will not allow abortions for any reason: 

Can pregnant woman choose to abort a rapist's child            … No.

What if the girl's father rapes her?                                      … No.  

Could a 12 year old abort because she is too young             …  No.

Could you get an abortion for a deformed fetus ?                …  No.

Could you abort a doomed fetus that won't live long?          …  No.

If the mother is unfit to be a parent?                                 …  No. 

While Marc cavalierly suggests that women can just travel to California if they live in a restricted state, anti abortion folks are actively talking about making abortion illegal on the Federal level.  And even without that restriction, poor people don't have the money  to travel; that option is reserved for people with money.  Rich folks will always have the abortion option even if they have to travel abroad. 

We should be very careful about the laws that we create.  Good intentions are not enough.  We need to look at the practical consequences of every law we endorse.  The anti abortion folks celebrate the overturning of Roe v Wade and are rushing to create new laws in every state to outlaw abortions for any reason.  They think they are saving lives when in reality they are killing many women, increasing poverty, and changing women's status from autonomous citizens to second class citizens with no control over their own bodies. 

Consequences do not always follow the intent of the law.  

Think about it. 


(Charles Tarlow, Voice in the Cheap Seats, is a CityWatch contributor who lives in Los Angeles.  [email protected])