41 Years After Roe v. Wade, Here Are a Few Reminders of What Abortion Is Not

Today, the reproductive rights activists across the country are celebrating the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the legal decision that made abortion a legal right in every state, without any restriction prior to the viability of the fetus. From the moment that decision was announced, abortion opponents have urged politicians to restrict that right via legislative means, passing regulations, restrictions and bans meant to whittle away that right and try to overturn the decision itself.

In many states, politicians have been all too willing to help. They have proposed expensive, medically unnecessary clinic and doctor regulations, onerous waiting periods and pre-procedure lectures and ultrasounds, and unconstitutional bans limiting the time limit in which a pregnant person can have an abortion, despite the Roe ruling.

Some of these bills have been introduced on their own, by those who have been upfront about their desire to restrict the right to choose. Others, not so much. They issue has been tucked into must pass bills, bundled into an omnibus or slid into unrelated legislation.

Today’s anniversary should serve as a reminder for anti-choice legislature: abortion is a legal right. And here’s a reminder of what abortion is not:

Abortion is not a form of domestic violence. A Kentucky senator anxious to force the legislature to vote on a 20 week abortion ban has tacked it onto a bill regarding domestic violence, saying, “The most brutal form of domestic violence is the violence against unborn children, and this particular bill would prohibit abortions after the fetus feels pain, which is 20 weeks and older.” Besides being medically untrue, it’s a huge insult to those who have experienced domestic violence. Then again, considering how hard the GOP worked nationally to block the reauthorization of VAWA (the Violence Against Women Act) this attitude shouldn’t surprise anyone.

Abortion is not making motorcycle riding dangerous. North Carolina legislators desperate to get an omnibus bill that among other things would give the Board of Health power to write clinic regulations that could potentially close every abortion provider tried tucking the law into a bill outlawing “sharia law.” But when that didn’t work, they stripped out a “motorcycle safety” bill and passed it through that. Because, helmets?

Abortion is not a cause of pre-term birth. If shutting down abortion clinics as a way to make motorcycle riding safer wasn’t confusing enough, the state also proposed legislation to teach students common preventable causes of preterm birth, such as smoking, doing drugs and abortion. Except abortion doesn’t cause preterm birth. Perhaps the people behind the science on that one should wear their helmets more often when they ride.

Abortion is not a state budgetary line item. Ohio doesn’t provide any state funding to abortion clinics, allow state Medicaid recipients to use their insurance to pay for terminations, or in any other way have anything to do with abortion services. That didn’t stop the GOP from putting a number of abortion restrictions into the state budget, a massive hundreds of pages long document. Included in those restrictions were mandatory ultrasounds and the power for the medical board to start drawing up reasons to close clinics one by one via lack of transfer agreements, which could no longer be provided by any publicly funded hospital. Since it didn’t have any bearing on the budget, there was absolutely no reason that Republican Governor John Kasich couldn’t use his veto power to remove those restrictions from the budget. But he didn’t. Now, yet another clinic in the state is closing.

Abortion is not a child homicide. Mississippi has done a number of things to try to end abortion in the state, including shutting down the state’s only clinic by requiring admitting privileges for the doctors at the clinic, knowing no local hospital would offer them. But the state also came close to being the first to ban abortion at the point in which a fetal heartbeat could be detected, by tacking it onto a “child homicide“ bill. The bill never made it out of committee.

Abortion is not a circus. Taking abortion bills onto unrelated issues is an age old process. When Minnesota couldn’t manage to get abortion restrictions out of Democratic committees, the Republicans did a little maneuvering to get them free. In 2003, they placed a so-called “informed consent” and waiting period bill, the “Women’s Right to Know Act,” onto a bill that was eliminating an old law that said you couldn’t hold a circus within 18 days of the state fair. Once the bill was free of committee, it then received a full vote and passed both chambers of the legislature. Included in that bill? A then mostly unheard of claim that fetuses could feel pain at 20 weeks, so if an abortion is done later than that, a pregnant person should be offered anesthetic for the fetus. That claim became the basis of today’s plethora of “fetal pain bills.”

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Jerome S
Jerome S9 months ago


Jim Ven
Jim Ven9 months ago

thanks for sharing.

Jim Ven
Jim Ven1 years ago

thanks for the article.

Michael T.
Michael T3 years ago

Enoch C G makes unsupported claims: “No, actually, "abortion" very much is homicide--it is infanticide!

Well, Enoch, actually it isn’t. Just because you want it to be doesn’t make it so. Just because you post it as a comment doesn’t make it so. Let me let you in on a secret here. Abortion is the removal of a fetus. A fetus becomes an infant AFTER it has been delivered and thus “born.” So it can’t be infanticide.

Enoch C G makes even more unsupported claims: “jesus is lord and savior!”

Well, again there Enoch,


This fictional creature of the new testacle doesn’t exist, isn’t a lord of any kind, and isn’t any kind of savior.

Now in your delusional world of imaginary friends (most children do away with their imaginary friends when they GROW UP), you may believe this, but that doesn’t make it so either.

If you’d have been born on other parts of the planet you might be yelling this sort of nonsense about Shiva, Krishna, Rama, Vishnu, or you could be making such claims about Allah.

And if the Roman Empire hadn’t made this new belief system created by Paul and other thugs the state religion, you’d probably be proclaiming the same about Mithras.

Enoch C Gould
Enoch C. Gould3 years ago

No, actually, "abortion" very much is homicide--it is infanticide!
Thanks for reading and considering, everyone!
God bless your efforts in this regard! Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior!

pam w.
pam w4 years ago

It's NOT ''just'' the US ''religious right." Take a look at Islamic countries...the way women are treated is appalling! Everything about their lives is strictly controlled.

Karen H.
Karen H4 years ago

I just watched a documentary on the Nazis and it was chilling similar to what the GOP/Religious Right is doing in the U.S.
One race (or religion) is superior to all others and “the unsuitable” (considered inferior) must be wiped out.
We must deny historical and scientific fact and twist the truth to fit our agenda.
Control these and you control the people: marriage, breeding, sexuality, money.
They truly believe they are saving the human race, and if you believe that strongly you don’t stop.

Michael T.
Michael T4 years ago

Pam writes: That and, in the case of abortion, scientific research PROVES a fetus isn't that ''precious little chubby bayyyyyybeeeeee" that the right-to-life MOB loves to depict!

In fact, science in general puts the lie to all those old myths about floods, arks, 900-year-old men, Ezekiel's wheel, mysterious partings of a sea, etc.

I agree Pam, fewer young people are buying these stories as a worthy cause for acceptance of the Abrahamic belief system. Science and history have proven so much of the claims made as patently false that the weight of such claims is flimsy at best. The indoctrination of young children is perhaps dropping off in many ways. While there are still sectarian schools (and by some accounts public schools) teaching this nonsense, fewer people are perhaps sending their children to them. The young people, perhaps are taught more critical thinking skills and rational thinking philosophy’s so that when faced with these mythical tales are able to process them through these lenses and discount them as true or valid.

Further, if any of them do read this old text, they will have found so many contradictions as to consider it a useless belief system borne of Iron Age thinking which is no longer relevant in today’s world.

Green Stars to Brian for his post.

Brian Foster
Brian F4 years ago

Republicans claim to care about the life of the unborn, but they could care less about the poor. Republicans want to eliminate the minimum wage, so our workers live in poverty, and require food stamps, which we pay for through our taxes. Republicans give corporate welfare to corporations, so they can avoid paying their fare share of taxes, while corporations are making record profits. Republicans have no problem sending our young to die in wars that are based on lies, while they profit off no bid contracts, from companies like Dick Chaney's Halliburton. Republicans could care less about the people dying of cancer from the nefarious chemical pesticide industry, that poisons our vegetables, and meat. The GOP could care less about our people getting raped, and killed in our nefarious private for profit prisons, as long as they get a cut of the profits. Big oil, coal, and natural gas pollute and destroy our environment causing many deaths, but that is fine with republicans, because they get paid a lot of money from the dirty fossil fuel industry. Republicans could care less about the sanctity of life. All republicans care about in money, and serving their corporate masters. ,

pam w.
pam w4 years ago

Michael..."This movement towards agnosticism and atheism is probably growing in part due to the over the fence evangelical claims, and because of the silence on the part of other christian folk who don’t call an end to the formers nonsense."

That and, in the case of abortion, scientific research PROVES a fetus isn't that ''precious little chubby bayyyyyybeeeeee" that the right-to-life MOB loves to depict!

In fact, science in general puts the lie to all those old myths about floods, arks, 900-year-old men, Ezekiel's wheel, mysterious partings of a sea, etc.