By Mike Austreng, Editor
Nearly 50 years ago legal action now called Roe v. Wade made it legal to provide abortion services when the Supreme Court ruled a woman’s right to liberty (guaranteed in our constitution) outweighed the state’s concern for the fetus prior to reaching “viability” – from what we understand viability is after the first trimester. Since that decision millions of fetuses have been aborted.
Roe v. Wade has been a topic that has split our nation with those who believe a fetus is a live human being (pro-life) versus people who believe a woman should have a choice in whether she is pregnant (pro-choice). There have been demonstrations – several times every year – since the decision. For nearly 50 years people have been debating this decision and arguing the merits of unprotected lives vs. the right to choose.
Just last week a drafted opinion by the Supreme Court was leaked. That opinion has left the “experts” believing Roe v. Wade has a good chance of being overturned. What it would mean is that nearly half the states in our nation will have to decide which side of the topic will be enforced. Thirteen states would have the right to choose stripped from options available to pregnant women. The remaining states would have restrictions in place.
The right to choose or the right to life will continue to be something our nation will debate. There will be demonstrations – hopefully those demonstrations will be peaceful.
News reports of late are pointing fingers as to why the Supreme Court drafted opinion was leaked. Was it leaked to produce disruption? Was it leaked to get people angry and then put pressure on the Supreme Court justices to keep things as they are and not overturn Roe v. Wade? It is, of course, a very serious political topic that is almost always up for debate.
The decision isn’t expected until sometime around June this summer. We’re pretty sure this will be on the news until then.
When we first started writing this week’s column we knew we wanted the leaked draft to be our first topic. While we were writing it hit us that Roe v. Wade was a hot topic 50 years ago. Fifty years! A half century! As we have in other weekly columns we were asking ourself, “where did the time go?” Fifty years is a long time. It got us thinking about the changes we’ve seen in our lifetime. Like automobiles – the first car we ever drove was 50 years ago when our dad bought our grandpa’s 1963 Mercury Comet. It was blue. It didn’t have a lot of miles on it because grandpa could walk across the street to work – he was a janitor at the Blackduck High School, which was right next to his house. The miles he put on his car were probably when he drove to the “family” farm just north of Blackduck. We remember grandpa talking a lot about the farm – our family hunted on that land. That car was “our” car because we were the first of the kids to get a driver’s license. The car was not a muscle car. It had a six cylinder engine and it was a manual three speed on the column. Being a kid we changed some of the features in the car. We put a small steering wheel on it and converted the column shift to a floor shift. We added spacers in the rear springs so the back end was higher. We drove the car primarily to work (at the Record and Rich-Spring Golf Course) and it was passed on to our siblings after we purchased our first car – we believe that one was a 1969 Chevy Belair – nothing too special, but it was our first. There have been many vehicles we’ve purchased over the time since those first two and we find it amazing how different they are now than they were then. Who would have ever believed we’d have a car that warned us when something was behind us when we back up, and gently moves us over if we get too close to the center line or fog line of the roads we drive?
We don’t think we’ll be buying anymore cars in our lifetime, but who knows what changes are in the future?