40 years of Roe v. Wade: The legal fight has evolved, but not the discord

Posted Monday, Jan. 21, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Tuesday is the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade abortion decision. Many abortion opponents are pushing state legislatures, including Texas', to regulate the procedure. Many abortion defenders say those efforts threaten to regulate it out of existence, negating Roe. The legal distinction is whether the regulations -- required sonograms, waiting periods, tighter limits on when and where an abortion can be performed and higher standards for doctors who perform them -- place an "undue burden" on pregnant women, who according to Roe have a right to opt for abortion. Where do you stand?

What about herstory?

I love my children and amazing grandchildren. I wish they could live in a more caring and peaceful world.

Genesis 1:27 tells us that male and female are both created in God's image. However, history is his story. How did God get to be male and males have the naming and power in our faiths and in our culture?

Herstory might be a little different if women were allowed to tell it. We celebrate girls and women, those already born, into whom God has breathed the breath of life, and all that contributes to who they are.

For so many of the h istory writers to pass laws telling those in herstory how their bodies should be cared for and used seems an abuse of power. Having a child is a huge decision; it involves more maternal deaths than abortion.

Difficult decisions should be supported in faith communities with love and care.

-- Judy O'Donnell,

Fort Worth

Pre-birth protection

I am against any type of abortion.Does anyone ask the father-to-be if he wants the baby? To me, at the moment of conception, a life is started. In America, we punish a person who is convicted of harming or murdering any human being. We protect a baby after it is born, so let's start protecting the baby before birth.

-- Lloyd Jones,


Taking human life

Are the requirements for a sonogram and waiting period prior to abortion undue limitations on the right to abortion? No.

However, the more relevant question is why these requirements are only now being imposed.

Except for fundamentalist liberals who deny science, the act of abortion is the taking of a human life, fully human since conception. A human being in the fetal stage is no less a human being than you or me, and unless stopped by disease or violence will develop through the stages of childhood and adolescence to adulthood.

In civilized societies, killing another human being is a most grievous matter. So if a mother wishes to kill the human being in her womb, why shouldn't society insist that she see the one whom she will kill and be required to wait a short time to consider the gravity of what she intends, especially since she will likely carry the guilt of her act for her lifetime?

-- Robert J. Gieb,

Fort Worth

Not for birth control

I am pro-life. Choosing to have a child is an important decision and should not be undertaken lightly.

I do not believe that required sonograms, etc., place an undue burden on pregnant women. Sonograms are free or very low cost at pregnancy centers. There are local and national organizations that provide help for a pregnant woman, including adoption agencies.

There are waiting periods to be able to buy a gun, so why shouldn't there be a waiting period in regard to having an abortion?

Abortion should not be used as a means of birth control and gender selection, and children should not be simply thrown away.

-- Barbara H. Mills,

White Settlement

Not religious dictate

Abortion is a religious issue; so too are the laws trying to regulate it out of existence. No politician should be able to make laws that reflect religious positions and beliefs in violation of the First Amendment.

The anti-abortion voices are loud, but the polls I've seen indicate most of us respect a woman's right to terminate a pregnancy.

-- Steven Constantine,


Limits aid reflection

Our culture has become anti-child, so many of our young people have no real respect for their own bodies and engage in casual sex. They do not seem to realize that actions have consequences until it is too late and they find themselves pregnant.

They know that abortion is wrong but think there is no other way out. Their parents can be their best support if they can put aside their disappointment and pride and realize that this baby is their grandchild who will bring much joy to their lives.

There are many pregnancy centers to help women have their babies. Pregnancy lasts nine months, but abortion is forever. A person's plans for the future can be delayed but taken up again later.

Sonograms, waiting periods and other limitations are good things to give women time to realize how precious life is.

-- Julia Vecera, Crowley

Informed decision

As a nation, we are rightly horrified by the shooting deaths of 20 schoolchildren. Yet, in the 40 years since Roe vs. Wade, millions of babies have been killed, babies who never had the chance to become schoolchildren and then adults able to contribute to society.

There is little outcry. Rather, we are told that someone has the right to kill, that a woman has the right to decide a child's right to live.

Can we really accept that as truth? It is contrary to every human instinct and moral principle. We must do everything we can to make women pause and consider what abortion really is. The regulations proposed would give them the time to make an informed decision.

-- Lance and Kay Terry,


Woman's choice alone

The only person who counts in the decision of abortion is the pregnant woman. If she chooses to ask for advice from close friends, family or her church, that is also her choice.

Her decision should be final. No one else matters, least of all the state Legislature or the federal government. Forcing sonograms and waiting periods is ridiculous. Pick whichever side you want to be on and believe whatever you want to believe. Just don't try to force your views on someone else.

-- Lynn Miller,

North Richland Hills

Legal personhood

Abortion is the most difficult topic; both sides are right. A woman should have control of her body. Human life does begin with fertilization; abortion destroys innocent human life.

However, the law does not protect human life, it protects legal persons. The Legislature or courts should explicitly define the beginning of legal personhood, based on the best scientific evidence (not theology). Meaningful brain activity could be the criterion. Unfortunately, the beginning of "brain life" is not as clear-cut as "brain death."

Whatever the definition, abortion should be legal while the fetus is not yet a legal person, and illegal thereafter, except to save the mother's life. There should be a bright line. No laws should attempt to make legal abortion more inconvenient or emotionally traumatic. There should be no "rape or incest" exceptions for illegal abortion (the father's crime does not excuse the murder of the child).

-- George Michael Sherry,

Fort Worth


In a free society, there will always be disagreements as to the extent to which one may go in exercising personal freedoms. To protect the individual rights of all, that society must agree to some rules and have a way of enforcing them.

Unfortunately, there will also be those who attempt to unduly influence those rules to better align with their own beliefs and preferences, whether or not the majority agrees. So it is with abortion.

The Supreme Court settled the argument surrounding a woman's "right to choose" with the Roe v. Wade decision. The justices didn't rule on whether it was "right" or "wrong," but only that it was a constitutionally protected right of an individual's self-determination. If opponents disagree in this instance, might they not in other personal freedoms?

-- Robert Moore, Fort Worth

Agenda unhidden

What I find amazing about the new laws and regulations surrounding abortion is that those promoting such laws are upfront about their desire to get rid of abortion by over-regulating it.

They say that this is for the good of the woman and other such pabulum, but at the same time they openly state their true intentions.

Abortion has been decided by the Supreme Court to be legal and a woman's right to choose. These regulations are nothing more than an attempt to negate this ruling.The stated motivation is always about protecting life. However, that is not really the issue here. Our sperm and egg are also alive. The real question is, when does a life turn into a person with the same and equal rights of a person already born?

-- Bill Robinson,


Two beings involved

I have to ask why the abortion defenders have a problem with requiring sonograms, waiting periods, tighter limits on when and where an abortion can be performed and higher standards for doctors who perform them.

I would think all those things would be in the best interests of the women.

The abortion industry doesn't want women to be informed.

They want abortion to be the only choice, and if they are regulated, then some of those women might choose to have their babies instead.

Two human beings are involved in an abortion. Only one has a choice who lives or dies, and it is not the baby.

-- Janice Minor,


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