Saturday 25 June 2022

Overturning Roe v Wade is a declaration

that women are second class citizens and that rape and murder are not  crimes.

I am sorry there is no other way to put this. 

Many years ago I went to a women's only meeting at university. It was also by invitation only. The woman who came along to talk to us had been through one of the most horrific experiences imaginable. She had been raped by her father. On discovering she was pregnant she was forced to undergo a "back street" abortion - held down by female members of the family as her father's female cousin "dealt with the situation".  She ended up spending months in hospital. She  would never have children. Her father was never prosecuted. She no longer had any contact with her family. What she spoke to us about was the need for safe and supportive means of abortion in such circumstances. There was absolute silence in the room as she told us her story. It still haunts me. I am glad I was invited to attend the meeting and that I went but I still find it difficult to even begin to comprehend what she must have felt. 

Her story alone should be enough for all of us to acknowledge that abortion needs to be available. If it is not available on all occasions then it must be available on some occasions. 

I am no expert on pregnancy. I have never had children. I do know the term "ectopic pregnancy". I do know that there are other times when an abortion can save a life. Do we really believe it is right that a woman should die because a "safe" abortion is available? What if she has other children? Do we deprive them of their mother?

There will be people who will say I have no business to even be commenting on a decision of the US Supreme Court but this is a decision which will have implications for women around the world. We have been told we are second class citizens who do not have the right to take action even in the most catastrophic of circumstances.  At least some women will now seek far more dangerous ways of obtaining an abortion. If caught they will end up before the courts as will those who are attempting to provide them with help. People will go to prison for "murder" - potentially even when they are actually saving a life because legislation can have unintended consequences.

The law is supposed to be there to maintain an orderly and safe society for everyone. Why is 51% of the population not entitled to that?


Anonymous said...

Thankyou for this.

I often read your blog with much appreciation but have not previously commented.
From Up-over.
(May I call myself Wildcat?)

kayT said...

The supreme court did not make abortion illegal. They said it's up to the states. So instead of castigating the supremes everyone should be picketing their state legislators and working to elect state officials who will stop making silly laws about medical procedures. And, actually, given the limits on Federal rights versus States rights in the US, the Roe v Wade ruling was also wrong, as it was also up to the states. I hope everyone can start focusing on how to make this better, by addressing the issue in state government. And thankfully, many states (I read that it's 21 states) are already addressing the issue and offering help and support for abortion rights. Good for them!

catdownunder said...

Hello Wildcat

Kay - yes, good point. Abortion is not illegal in some states. It can also be argued that Roe v Wade was "wrong" in the sense that it should perhaps have been seen as a states matter. But, as I understand it from law school days, Roe v Wade was decided on issue/s which are within the US Constitution's jurisdiction.
The very real concern now is that the decision could be used to push through other rights related legislation in very conservative states like Utah and Ohio.

kayT said...

Yes, for sure there is danger that other rights will be lost. I do have some hope though as the negative response to what the court has done has been a lot stronger than they expected, I think. Hope.