On This Date in History:
This subject is a little bit touchy and I do not intend to really get into the muck. This is also pretty long but I hope that you will read through it and think a bit. I mean, people have their opinions and I certainly do, but they are more in the form of things to consider. You will find I have observations from both sides of the fence. What am I talking about? Why the infamous case of Roe V. Wade that on this date in 1973 came down from the US Supreme Court. What it said was that state laws outlawing abortion were unconstitutional. In time, that came to mean that abortions in the first trimester of pregnancy could not be banned.
People love to protest and march on both sides. Does any of that change any minds? Do ads and T-shirts really make a difference. It’s all a waste of time, energy, money and effort in my book. It seems to me that changing of minds and opinions comes through long, in depth discussion and analysis of one’s own self and careful consideration. It would appear to me that people who make or by t-shirts, protest, hold signs, yell and scream or march are more interested in bringing attention to themselves and not resolving an issue. I mean, does someone see someone yelling and holding a sign and say, “hey…I’m changing my mind!”
Let me take a stab at an objective view of the history of abortion in the US. It wasn’t always illegal. In the 1700’s and
early 1800’s, apparently there were methods of women ending a pregnancy. It was called “quickening” and the best I can understand there were certain types of drugs that a woman could take. In fact, through the middle of the 19th century, there were “female monthly pills” available that induced an end to a pregnancy. But, in the 1700’s it wasn’t much of an issue. Generally for the first 100 years of the nation, abortions were legal. As it became more prominent in the 1800’s and I suppose as we entered the Guilded Age (Victorian Age in England), states began banning the practice. It became a criminal offense and the newly formed American Medical Association came out against the procedure, though some say it was because doctors wanted to eliminate the competition from abortion practioners. My source claims that the Catholic Church had no problem with quickening but by the middle of the 19th century came about and opposed abortion. Abortion laws came up in most states but really weren’t enforced too much and so if you had money, you could generally have the procedure done until the 1930’s . That is when enforcement began in earnest. By the 1960’s, states began to liberalize the abortion laws. I think by the time January 22, 1973 rolled around, some 17 states had loosened their laws.
This is how the American Medical Association has changed its definition of abortion over time according to one source: 1859-“The slaughter of countless children; such unwarranted destruction of life. ” 1871-“The work of destruction; the wholesale destruction of unborn infants.” 1967-“The interruption of pregnancy; the induced termination of pregnancy.” 1970-“a medial procedure.”
Now, it’s difficult to find objective information on the history of abortion in this country. When you compare the view from the pro-abortion crowd to that of the anti-abortion crowd, its rather interesting. Go ahead and give it a whirl. I chose those two sites just as an example. There are many many others.
Here are some thoughts to consider. First off, I have some problems with terminology. Most people who are against abortion being legal call themselves “pro-life.” It is said that all life is precious. If that is the case, then those people necessarily have to be against the death penalty. If all life is precious, doesn’t that come without qualifiers? And don’t forget, there have been “pro-life” people who decided it was a good idea to kill other people through bombings and shootings. Then there is the “pro-choice” moniker for the opposing view. It seems to me that if one claims to want the government to “keep your laws off of my body” or that “a woman has a right to choose what to do with her body” then that person necessarily has to be in favor of legalized prostitution.
Further on that note, if one is pregnant and is caught being intoxicated or on drugs, often that mother is charged with
endangering the life of the fetus. It’s as if there is some inconsistency there. But what about the viability? It is generally accepted that abortions are fine in the first trimester because there is no viability of the fetus to live outside of the womb. After the first trimester, they can be performed to protect the health of the mother. On this date in 1973, there was a less celebrated yet very significant Supreme Court Decision. It was Doe V Bolton and it struck down an abortion law in Georgia. In that decision, the court defined what the health of the mother meant. It said that “… that the medical judgment may be exercised in the light of all factors – physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age – relevant to the wellbeing of the patient. All these factors may relate to health.” So, if the mother may be affected emotionally, then that can be considered a risk to her health and then everything goes. Yet, if someone shot or beat that mother, then the assailant could be charged with two counts of assault or attempted murder. So, if the woman is emotionally unstable, its okay to terminate the pregnancy any time, but if someone beats a mother and that beating results in a termination of the pregnancy, then that person is charged with murder. Seems a bit odd. I mean, one pregnancy is ended on purpose and the other is ended by the fault of another, but the result is the same. Why is the termination of the pregnancy murder in one case but a medical procedure in the other? I don’t get it.
Now, here’s something else. If you believe that life begins at conception, then one must give that life the equal protection afforded by the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. It seems to me that one would then have to count those unborn lives in the census, which means that the government would have to periodically check to see if women were pregnant. One woman tried this when she drove in the high occupancy lane on the freeway in which there had to be two occupants in the vehicle. She got pulled over and claimed her baby inside her was the second occupant. If the law says that it is a life after the first trimester, then shouldn’t she have a case? These unborns protected by the 14th Amendment would have to considered for the number of representatives that a state might have. You’d also have to allow them to be dependents on your income tax. In fact, all rights and considerations and the legal requirements of parenting would have to apply, not to mention all of the other clerical things like taxes, social security numbers, etc. That seems quite cumbersome and impractical.
Ask yourself how many abortions are an abdication of responsibility. Now, there are two sides to that coin. Is it responsible to terminate a pregnancy because it would bring hardship or is it responsible to not terminate a pregnancy in which the child would begin life in lousy circumstance?
I made a lady mad one time at work. We were in the lunchroom and I was thinking out loud. I pondered the parables of Jesus. He said that one should render to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and give to God what belongs to God when someone ask if they should pay their taxes. Jesus did not say to lobby Caesar. (Matt 22: 15-22) Yet, I opined out loud that perhaps the churches were trying to lobby Caesar in their efforts to curtail abortion. It seems to me that the churches are trying to get the government to do their job. If the churches got out there and changed the hearts and minds of people so that they wouldn’t have abortions, then the laws would be irrlevant. No one is forced to have an abortion. Just because someone can do a thing, doesn’t mean one has to do a thing nor does it mean one should do a thing. The lady got mad and left. Abortions can be stopped if people stop considering it as an option.
As for the woman who started it all…Roe? Her name is Norma McCorvey and in this interview, she comes out strongly against abortion. She says that she felt ashamed of what she did. Consider that.
Weather Bottom Line: Yes indeed…the heater is working and now the temperatures will be near 50 on Thursday and in the 50’s on Friday. Good thing I got a new furnace. But, I will be happy this weekend. A front comes down and brings temperatures back into the freezer. Upper 20’s and low 30’s for highs over the weekend. Perhaps a few flurries on Sunday. Then, we’re still looking at next week. The other day, the wave looked to be more of a problem for late Monday into Tuesday. My loyal reader Eric pointed out to me that a local guy claimed that you had to get moisture within 24 hours of cold coming in to get significant snow or ice. That is not necessarily true. It often happens like that, but it’s not a common rule. There are no absolutes in life and you get yourself in trouble when you start using “rules of thumb” in forecast. In any event, right now, it doesn’t look as potentially menacing as it did before. But its still going to be a chilly week ahead. Not terribly cold but still chilly.