The Truth About Roe v. Wade

A must-read piece in the New York Times, written by an 80-something doctor who remembers what life was like before Roe. It’s a good reminder of what we have (blessedly) left behind — but what anti-choicers would like to turn us back to. He details the gruesome effects of illegal abortion, but I want to highlight his concluding statement:

It is important to remember that Roe v. Wade did not mean that abortions could be performed. They have always been done, dating from ancient Greek days.

What Roe said was that ending a pregnancy could be carried out by medical personnel, in a medically accepted setting, thus conferring on women, finally, the full rights of first-class citizens — and freeing their doctors to treat them as such.
This is not about ending abortion — it’s about whether women are first-class citizens, deserving of full human rights. Abortion exists. It has always existed, and it probably will always exist. We know what decreases it — contraception; sexual health education; healthy views of sex as a responsibility and a pleasure, not a shame — and we know that the policies promoted by anti-choice groups increase it. We know that illegalizing it doesn’t make it go away. But it does create situations like this:

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.