As we enter into a new decade, the Roe decision, securing women the freedom of choice when it comes to their bodies, may need to be further clarified. Where is the line to be drawn when it comes to a woman's right to choose, or should no such line exist? The debate that has stemmed from Roe v. Wade is much deeper than abortion. Why has our culture equated the notion of "choice" as synonymous with abortion? Perhaps, we all need to remember that choice actually means the right or power to CHOOSE - as women, we can choose to get married, get a job, have sex and become mothers. Part of that choice may be to delay motherhood, through the use of contraception or abortion. Life is full of choices to be made.
Since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, there have been over 45 million women in the US who have chosen to have safe, legal abortions. Over three decades later, this landmark decision remains to be one of the most debated of all time. Would it not be logical to assume that this whole pro-choice/pro-life debate may actually be two heads of the same coin? For those who want to make this debate solely be about abortion, contraception and unplanned pregnancy, regardless to one's belief in the morality of abortion, it would be irresponsible to ignore the reality. There are 3 million unplanned pregnancies in the US every year. Respected research consistently shows that the rise of contraceptive use results in reduced abortion rates. In fact, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, half of all women seeking a first-time abortion were not using any type of contraception when they conceived. Though the national number of abortions is down, teen pregnancies are up.
We have both pro-choice and pro-life groups advocating their positions, protesting, and rallying for support everyday. Is it that difficult to drop the agendas and REALIZE that we all basically agree on the same goal - to lower the number of abortions. It can't be denied that birth control and abortion both represent alternative means of achieving the same goal: the prevention of unwanted babies. Instead of arguing about the immorality of abortion, efforts should be made to advocate solutions to the prevention of unintended pregnancy.
There's a saying that goes "Against Abortion? Don't Have One." It seems to me that, when it comes down to it, all Roe v. Wade has done is provided women with choice. What we each do with that choice is personal and private. Until further clarifications are determined as to what is actually comprised under a woman's right to choose, the Roe decision stands. And even though, in a perfect world, we could all work together to reach the same goal, Roe v. Wade will continue to drum up controversy where people will remain divided and determined to spread their agenda in any possible way.