Every year, American citizens reflect on one of the most controversial decisions since the Supreme Court’s inception in 1789 — Roe v. Wade. Although many pro-life and pro-choice supporters work year-round to protect what they believe is right, rallies across the country will mark the 41st anniversary of the landmark case Wednesday, Jan. 22, and we are still not any closer to a definitive end to the argument.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 784,000 abortions were reported in 2009, the most recent year for which statistics have been gathered. The rate of abortions to live births in the same year was 227 out of every 1,000.
These statistics are alarming. The sheer number of babies being aborted should raise red flags for both pro-life and pro-choice supporters. Imagine if 227 out of every 1,000 people already living were killed every year and the crippling impact it would have on society, not to mention the emotional impact.
For those who believe that life begins at conception, this is the reality of life after Roe v. Wade. And for those who believe that aborted babies are simply fetuses, less than human until they are fully removed from the womb, I would suggest researching the different ways that abortions are actually performed and honestly decide whether or not this procedure should be legal.
All statistics aside, I believe that an extremely important part of the abortion debate is the underlying attitude that accompanies the decision to have an abortion. American culture is the epitome of instant gratification. Every billboard, magazine advertisement and television spot screams for Americans to find what makes them happy, despite the negative effects their choices might have. Rarely are they encouraged to make a responsible choice.
There is no universal solution to unplanned and unwanted pregnancies, but in many cases, the legality of abortion only serves to provide an easy way to evade the responsibility that comes along with the choice to have sex and the possibility of a pregnancy. It may sound outdated to say this, but the problem of the legality of abortion would be mostly irrelevant if both men and women took responsibility for the potential consequences of having sex.