Moral Low Ground

Civil Liberties

Roe v Wade at 40: If Men Were Seahorses…

(Photo: American Life League/Flickr Creative Commons)

(Photo: American Life League/Flickr Creative Commons)

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that gave me the right to have an abortion. While I’d like to say ‘cheers’ to that, women still have a tough fight ahead as states, mostly of the “red” variety, limit or attempt to limit our reproductive rights. Why is it so hard to give women the right to choose whether to have a baby grow in her uterus? Roe v Wade was supposed to ensure my rights as a woman to control a very personal choice.

I say with conviction that unless you want to be pregnant, and unless you are certain that you want to give birth, and unless you are certain that you want to raise the child, you should not take part in any of it. I had an abortion myself when I was a junior in college and I am so grateful that I was able to do so legally. I chose to have an abortion because I didn’t want a baby and I wanted to graduate from college and pursue a career. This may sound selfish, but why shouldn’t I be? It’s my body. Would we even be talking about the right to have an abortion if humans were like seahorses, and the man was the one giving birth? Probably not.

If anti-abortion groups cared so much about unborn fetuses, why do they attack Planned Parenthood?  Planned Parenthood’s primary purpose is to educate women on family planning and to prevent abortions. The truth is that anti-abortion groups are not rallying behind the rights of the unborn fetus, they are trying to deprive women of their rights.

Statistics show that most Americans who are anti-abortion are religious, primarily Christians. Religion should have no place in this nation’s laws. Anti-abortion leaders are also mostly men, who will never be pregnant and who have no right to dictate how to control a woman’s body. I suspect some of them think they do because they don’t want woman to rise to positions of power and be the leaders of this great nation.

Also, if these anti-abortion Christian men are so pro-life, how do you explain their support for the death penalty or for the killing and maiming of hundreds of thousands innocent civilians, including many women and unborn babies, in countries targeted in the War on Terror? Is an unborn child only worthy of saving if its blood runs red white and blue? This shocking disconnect is hypocrisy at its worst. “Pro-life” indeed.

I firmly believe that a woman has the right to abort if she is not ready, wants to graduate from college, or simply because she does not want to have the child.  All these reasons are good enough.

WaksWakako Uritani is a partner at a San Francisco litigation firm. 

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