Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Roe v Wade

     I found Mr. Doggett's presentation to have closely simulated what a college seminar would look like. His opening of rhetorical questions was strong, and I believe it set the tone for the discussion we were going to have. He described cruel and desperate acts of women seeking an abortion but denied rights to their bodies. I was personally intrigued by the history given. While in colonial times, abortion was not regulated, I wondered what would bring about the Comstock laws and eventually criminalize abortion. After hearing the theory behind the origin of these laws, I could not help but scoff. To be honest, I was not entirely surprised. Historically, it has been shown that slowly women have been able to acquire equality. Given the era, men were threatened by women and the potential they had. If women could decide when to have children, what was to stop them from having no children, leave their "house duties," and enter the work force where they could potentially be on the same level as men. But men couldn't have this. White men could not also have other races superseding them and thus threatening their white superior race.
     As Mr. Doggett began discussing the Supreme Court cases, I liked how as a class we tried to anticipate what each side was going to argue. We were then able to use our prior knowledge of the Constitution to support or denounce Roe v Wade just as lawyers had done years ago. In reading the article by Pew, I could not help but underline multiple times that "constitutional rights to privacy and liberty protected a women's right to terminate her pregnancy." Justice Blackmum stated that this right was protected under the 14th Amendment's guarantee of liberty which creates "zones of privacy" where "marriage, contraception, family relationships and child-rearing."
      As stated in the article, multiple times in class we talked about how the state has an "important and legitimate interest in protecting the health of the mother and even the potentiality of human life inside her." This then related to the exception where abortions are allowed in every state with incest, rape, danger to the mother's life, or danger to the fetus' life. In class, I then brought up the question regarding the mother's mental health. Given Norma McCorvey's history, I would argue that with each child she birthed, it took a mental toll on her, and so she acted out like joining the circus or working in a lesbian bar. When these restrictions are placed, are people taking into account the mother's mental health? If she already has multiple children, what about the immense stress she is then under? Would that then not harm her life and the potential baby's?
     Over the summer, I remember reading a Freakonomics where they actually talked about Roe v Wade. In explaining the decrease in crime rates, Levitt and Dubner cited that the legalization of abortion was the actually the cause of low crime rates. In reading their explanation, I could see where they were coming from. They talked about how if a woman does not want to have a child, she probably have a good reason. The woman may not be married, be in an abusive marriage, cannot support the child financially, has a drug addiction, or is too young. If the child was born, then they had a 50% chance of living in poverty, and more likely to commit a crime. Because of Roe v. Wade, women then had the choice, and children were not born in a hostile environment.
     Personally, I believe if women cannot choose to have a child, then the father must be held accountable. What happens when a woman becomes pregnant and the father of the child disappears? Why must the mother then endure the entire burden? While it may seem radical, if women cannot pursue abortions, then men should be forced to obtain vasectomies. No one controls their bodies then.

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