Roe v. Wade anniversary raises new issues
Last Tuesday marked the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, a landmark trial wherein the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a woman’s right to have an abortion was protected under the Constitution. Both pro-life and pro-choice demonstrators rallied in Washington, D.C. in recognition of the trial’s anniversary. The rallies — along with the continually publicized opinions of politicians and citizens alike — make it clear that abortion is still a hotly contested topic.
Regardless of an individual’s beliefs, it is undeniable that Roe v. Wade made a profound impact on legislation and continues to shape legal decisions today. It is still important to be informed about Roe v. Wade and other significant abortion trials to understand how the issue has evolved in recent decades. Regardless of an individual’s beliefs, it is undeniable that Roe v. Wade made a profound impact on legislation and continues to shape legal decisions today.
As reported in a Jan. 17 article of The Chicago Tribune, abortion rates in the country are as low as they have been since 1974, the year after Roe v. Wade made the procedure legal. Many attribute the decline in abortion to legislation that stands in the way of women seeking abortions, mandating parental consent forms and waiting periods, along with the newly upheld Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, criminalizing second-trimester abortion.
Although the abortion rate is at a low, the U.S. has the highest rate of unintended pregnancy among developed countries, reports the Tribune. It is hard not to blame the country’s high rate of unintended pregnancy on lacking sex education; the public school system’s abstinence-only curriculum does not teach students about contraceptives.
Another evolving aspect of the issue is the growing voice of men whose partners have had abortions. Many report depression, grief, and other traumatic symptoms as the extended aftermath of an abortion, lasting for months or even years. Doctors began to identify post-abortion syndrome in women in the 1980s, and now many are recognizing men with similar conditions.
It’s important for men affected by abortion to share their stories, in part to draw attention to a previously unknown dimension of the debate. Moreover, stories of personal impact help overturn the stereotype that abortion — and pregnancy — are burdens for women to suffer alone.