Commentary: Abortion. The right to choose or maybe not... by Monica Vieira Tuck
(DALLAS - May 25, 2012) - Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), is a landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court on the issue of abortion. Decided simultaneously with a companion case, Doe v. Bolton, the Court ruled that a right to privacy under the due process clause of the 14th Amendment extended to a woman’s decision to have an abortion, but that right must be balanced against the state’s two legitimate interests in regulating abortions: protecting prenatal life and protecting women’s health. Arguing that these state interests became stronger over the course of a pregnancy, the Court resolved this balancing test by tying state regulation of abortion to the trimester of pregnancy.
Coming from a Catholic country where abortion was illegal until 5 years ago. Women dying from butchered abortions and complications and the perfect perception that not everybody wants to have a child made me be pro-choice. I will never understand what makes people be so strong against a decision that is so personal. Usually the argument is religious, as if all of us have to live by that belief, as if the moral patterns of a group need to rule and apply to everybody else, as if non believers and others tax payers have to look away and accept the religious imposition. I never received a valid argument from them as of why what another person is doing by choice is something of their concern, as if that would bother them and their perfect solution for an unwanted pregnancy. One of things that made this country remarkable is the ideal of personal freedom and choice.
Sitting down at the clinic doing my paperwork I remember being calm and ready. The ultrasound confirmed what I already knew and the decision was made. I paid and went to a room watching a silly video that is supposedly made to discourage women of interrupting the pregnancy, and a few minutes after that I went to the room and lay down, waking up sore and thirsty, being helped on a wheelchair and ready to be discharged. My body was hurting but my mind was calm. My decision had been made and I didn’t feel any guilt, any regret, and no after all these years I don’t have any nightmares, dreams or even think of that small 5 week fetus as a son/ daughter or anything or anybody else but an unwanted pregnancy that was terminated legally and medically approved. Life is made of choices and as much as I try to understand the dynamics of pro-life advocates, I can’t get over their argument of a biblical sin that is only applicable to believers( and yes i am a believer, but i am also a democrat respecting all not looking at race or creed) and the hypocrisy of a society that has an overwhelming amount of single parenthood making me think: It’s a sin to terminate a pregnancy, but it’s ok to have unprotected sex with several men, having all these children, very often from vulgar and not steady relationship,or married men and women cheating, or thief’s stealing, as if there was a sin measurement that specified which one is ok and which one is deadly and a hell pass.
This theme is polemic and because my own husband and father are pro-life, I often see myself frustrated trying to figure out why would anybody want to impose their belief on another . I always give the scientific reason that there is no brain activity until 12 weeks therefore having an abortion until that time frame is pretty much the same as taking the plug on anybody that had lost brain activity and is consider brain-dead. I remember the 1st Abortion Referendum in Portugal where I actively campaigned for but these results : “On 28 June 1998 a referendum on a new abortion law was conducted in Portugal; it was the first national referendum in the Portuguese history. The law was proposed by the Portuguese Communist Party and it decriminalized abortion during the first ten weeks of pregnancy and was considered by the left as the only way to put an end to the estimated 20 to 50 thousand illegal abortions in the country. The law was approved in the Assembly of the Republic through a majority of the center-left and left-wing parties, but an agreement between the Socialist Party and the Social Democratic Party parties leaders led to the referendum. The referendum was held on a summer day, which is said to have contributed to the fact that the turnout was so low that it didn’t pass the threshold of 50 percent of the voters needed to make the decision binding, although the winning answer, NO, was respected and the law wasn’t changed, meaning abortion was only allowed in exceptional case (such as rape, mal-formations of the fetus and danger to the women’s health). In the following years, a few dozen women (a small minority of the estimated illegal abortions) were defendants in three trials for abortion.” left me mad and sad with the fact that the separation of state and church was not being effective and my small Catholic country was once again on the tail of Europe, forcing people to do unsafe abortions or drive to Spain to have the proper care.
I can’t understand the people who want to close abortion clinics and send people to the death chamber, as if killing a fetus is a crime and killing an alive and well human being is a correct punishment. What makes me mad is the hypocrisy and 2 face morals of people who pick and choose what is ok and what is not according to their own agenda. If you are Pro life, be anti death penalty. If people are so religious stop having unprotected extramarital sex. If being so concerned about a small seed inside a womb, start volunteering for the millions of orphans that are living in horrible conditions. Make a statement and take a stand. Your freedom ends when mine starts. Do U?
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