Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Roe v. Wade

Mr. Doggett gave a very interesting presentation on Roe v. Wade. I had never really studied the case before or learned about the specifics of the case. I understood the main outcome of the case, but not the cases that had set it up, I had never even heard of them. He reinforced the idea of “the right to privacy,”— a right I have had all my life so I have never understood how it could not be constitutionally protected.

I really enjoyed that Mr. Doggett asked a lot of questions. His style of presenting was much different than the others before him. He really engaged us and made us think about the case and the points made. What I really liked was how he would project a point made in the case and he would make us choose whether we thought it was a point made by Roe or Wade. Then we would have to defend our choice and point to the evidence in the Constitution or precedent that supported the case. This style forced us to think about the case and the underlying constitutional issues surrounding it. Usually, I struggle to learn about court cases because the idea of having to learn and memorize years, names, and details frightens me beyond belief. But he made this an active learning, an application, of previous knowledge, to piece together the case. He made it into a puzzle that we had to solve uses what we know and what we had learned.

Personally, I avoid the topic of abortion. I think it is very controversial and I do not fully know my own position on it. Pro-Life or Pro-Choice? Why should it matter to me what a woman does with her own body? Some say abortion is killing a baby, other say having a baby when not ready is ruining the mother. What I don’t understand is how anyone can tell anyone else what would be good for them. How do they know? That’s why I am pro-choice. I am Pro-Choice because I don’t think I should have a say in any woman’s life because I am not that woman. 

Today many people forget that. Politicians try to tell the people what is best for them. Too often they are wrong. I was greatly bothered by the defunding of Planned Parenthood this past year. Politicians used the morally complex issue of abortion to deny women basic health care rights. I think abortions accounted for something close to 10% of the total budget for planned parenthood. The other 90% was spent on sexual education, breast cancer and other cancer screening, and a whole array of other necessary heath needs of women. Also, we read about how hard some states are making it for abortion clinics to run. Some states require clinics to pass the same regulations as hospitals, which require a five-foot wide hallway--a rarity outside of hospital building built specifically to pass. Some large states, like Texas,f have only a handful of abortion clinics and issue other specific laws, like requiring the doctors to meet with the women within 24-hrs of the first meeting, a scheduling nightmare. 

The issue of women rights has not gone away. Men are attempting to restrict a woman's right to her own body. By defunding planned parenthood and making it extremely difficult to get an abortion, there is an immediate threat to the progress women have made. 

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