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Roe v. Wade: A woman's perspective

By Heather Bachman
web posted November 22, 2004

Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) gestures during a news conference at the Senate Radio TV Gallery announcing his intentions to take over as Judiciary Committee Chairman, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on November 18
Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) gestures during a news conference at the Senate Radio TV Gallery announcing his intentions to take over as Judiciary Committee Chairman, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on November 18

The recent announcement of Arlen Specter becoming head of the Judiciary Committee, which confirms the Supreme Court Justices, has been a surprise. Further, with the Republican Senator's recent comments about President George W. Bush's nominating a new Supreme Courty Justice over the next four years, some past decisions have come into thought as being possible targets of the new members. One is the Roe v. Wade case.

Of all the cases I can recall in history, this case is one that has still resulted in even more uproar today than ever with actions such as the Partial Birth Abortion Act signed in honor of baby Connor Peterson and constant reactions of pro-choice voices. It is seen in some minds of colleagues and friends that as a woman, I am immediately pro-choice. After all, it is my body too that is taken into question. However, even as a woman, I have two very interesting perspectives of the court decision.

First, a small tidbit: The woman involved in Roe v. Wade, who wanted to terminate her pregnancy because it was her body involved, had the child and has been heard saying she's glad she did. Further, an even smaller perspective of why the decision came out to be what it was goes into question in my mind. When you are pregnant, do you say it's a fetus? Do you say an experiment or a possible child? No, you say a baby.

Also, The new legislation (Partial Birth Abortion Act) also questions the factors of its results. Partial birth is when a woman births what has been inside her for months, and it is killed as soon as it feels the air around them. I don't know about you but when I heard that I shuddered. Cruelty in no way, shape or form should result in the kind of court case this is, one that is to protect humans.

Of course the decision of when there is a human and when there is just an addition to the body is still not realized. But think about the things that are removed from the body as well: tumors, cysts, kidney stones. Are these future children tumors to us? Because in many ways, that's how we are treating them.

However, there is also a side of me that is a female. The question "What's Next?" does come to my mind when it comes to it being revised.

As a woman, I wonder about the circumstances to allowing my body to have a boundary set by the government who should be beside me in my life and not over me. However, my personal perspective is that I truly don't see a controversial case such of this being touched by anyone. As dangerous politically as a sex scandal, women have almost nothing to worry about.

I do return to my first perspective at most in my life. Reasons such as personal stories through the grapevine about what women go through during these operations and just the realization of how tedious some of the fights are when it comes to factors of this court case place me in the view of pro-life. I still can recall Whoopi Goldberg holding up a metal coat hanger and reminding the public what the operation was forced to be before the decision. I don't see this as a good argument because if you ask me, I wonder if the aftermath is worth it.

Heather Bachman can be reached at heathereditor@thecollegepress.com.

Other related stories: (open in a new window)

  • Partial-Birth abortion jurisprudence by Robert S. Sargent, Jr. (September 20, 2004)
    Laws banning partial birth abortions are being struck down across the United States and Robert S. Sargent, Jr. says a majority of the decisions are the result of poor jurisprudence
  • Pro-lifers must change more than the law by W. James Antle III (January 20, 2003)
    When it comes to political activism, the anti-abortion movement can claim many successes. W. James Antle III says while that's fine, the movement needs to do more
  • Abortion: A moral quagmire by Wendy McElroy (June 17, 2002)
    Wendy McElroy knows the topic of abortion is a minefield of emotions but one thing she refuses to do is cede ground to extremists on either side of the debate
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