Roe v. Wade is More Than a Decision: Life has Recovered its Rights

January 22, 2013 marks the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision. All month, we’ll be running posts examining various aspects of this landmark ruling. If you’d like to contribute, let us know!

Abortion has existed for centuries, but the right to choose abortion, and therefore enter motherhood voluntarily, has existed for less than a century. In the United States, this right is protected by Roe v. Wade. But followers of certain religious faiths argue that abortion is murder. Nobody is pro-abortion, certainly not feminists who fight for the right to choose and the dignity of women as human beings. To make a choice, we must be able to act knowingly. Freedom is a blessing which builds when reflection and awareness are used as guides. To make the best possible choice, we need to know as much as possible.

Is teaching creationism, negationism, and climate skepticism, and not teaching biology the best way to prepare youth to grow up in this world, enter the workforce, and start a family? Is any effort to make people believe from an early age that they will never be autonomous to make decisions, but at the same time that they are the only rightful people in the world, the proper way to establish a partnership between God and humanity?

Knowing to build, lying to destroy

Despite the United Nations’ Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, some Christians, such as New York state senator Ruben Diaz, compare abortion to the Holocaust. Claiming that women of all ages, who have the courage to make one of the most important choices in their lives, are Hitlers in the making is not just negationism. It is also inhuman and disrespects those that died in the Holocaust, those that survived, and their  families and descendants. When a woman makes a choice about her pregnancy, whether it is to raise her child, place the child for adoption, or choose abortion, she answers a very personal question of life as best as she can. But can the organization and perpetration of torture, mass killings, and genocides can answer to any question?

God knows the laws of men and men do not have to defend God, but to put themselves under His protection and serve Him as humbly as possible. But do leaders, religious or otherwise,  have the right to control minds, the part of the human that is precisely accessible only to God—or to oneself?

To ignore is to kill, to choose is to live

The Roe v. Wade decision may raise questions about law and medicine; and these questions, whatever their relevance, can feed the ongoing debate around reproductive rights. But attacking the right to a safe and legal abortion attacks the very nature of the human being: the right to procreate ,and therefore human dignity. Some will say, but basically we all have the right to procreate! Well, then why has this right become a reason of oppression? Refusing voluntary motherhood to a woman or voluntary parenthood to a couple while sanitary conditions exist to safely terminate a pregnancy—is that not the denial of human dignity as a whole? In fact, procreation is even a privilege. Sexual relations are a privilege, as is childbearing, giving birth, and raising a child. But a privilege is not without responsibility. Abortion is not a murder. Abortion is a hardship following a considered choice whose consequences can be endurable thanks to law and medicine:  women can survive and can keep the possibility of voluntary motherhood.

God gives each of us a body and the choice, who are they to steal that?

It must be remembered that those who deny the dimension of dignity in the sexual act and procreation, and the privilege of the ability to start a family, are also those who place themselves above the laws of nature of the Earth, our only home. They also legitimize the worst crimes under the pretext of religion or, even worse, by invoking God. In addition, they reject science, which allos us to know, for example, what a star is made of when we are in awe of the Creation. Through their corruption of religious education and attempts to rewrite history, they try to  redo the world and its laws while attempting to control the spiritual conceptions, and therefore try to overpower the Divine. Such a meaningless and pitiless project is doomed: people who play God can at best fail, and at worse lead others in their ruin because they go against their nature and want at all cost to control a dimension out of their reach.

The difficult freedom to choose while making for human sustainability was given to women; it is not in the nature of things that men own it exclusively. Therefore, men on their own cannot be up to this responsibility entrusted to women by God. Likewise, a woman cannot come between the personal connection of another woman and transcendence. Roe v. Wade is like any family dispute: two clans are formed, two visions clash, and their struggles reveal the good and the bad deeds. Fight not ahead, but close by God.


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