Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ending Abortion Politics

Stump your frinds with this bit of trivia. When Roe V. Wade was decided in 1973 by a 7-2 vote, the Supreme Court consisted of 6 Republicans and 3 Democrats. Five Republicans (Burger, Blackmun, Brennan, Stewart ,Powell) and two Democrats (Marshall, Douglas) agreed with the decision. One Republican (Rehnquist) and one Democrat (White) dissented.

Since 1973, Republicans have held a majority on the Supreme Court. For three terms 1991,1992,1993 they had a 7/2 majority (Scalia, Blackmun, Souter, Thomas, O'Connor, Kennedy, Rehnquist) and yet they never tried to overturn Roe V. Wade. So why are millions of dollars raised every presidential election for the Republican candidate from anti-abortion groups with the sole purpose of overturning Roe V. Wade?

Add to this the fact that overturning Roe V. Wade would not make abortions illegal, it would simply throw the issue back to the states. This would mean that after over 30 years of fighting over this issue what we're arguing about is adding a $200 bus ticket on to the price of an abortion because states such as California, New York and Illinois show no signs of wanting to make abortions illegal.

I propose an alternative to this senseless political wrangling. Since both sides understand the negative consequences of having an abortion, why not work together to have less of them. Easy and free access to condoms for teens is one simple solution we should all be able to support. Likewise, since the pressure to have an abortion is often exacerbated by poverty, passing legislation for a living wage could help reduce the practice. I'm sure there are dozens of good ideas out there if we could focus our energies on achievable results instead of the quadrennial dead horse beating contest.