By Pat Thomas
Teen Vogue recently published a letter from abortionist Dr. Willie Parker addressed to our U.S. Senators stating why he opposes Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.
Parker mentioned some relevant information which people on both sides of the abortion debate should certainly be cognizant of; however, in an attempt to win people over to the abortion-choice aisle, Parker left out some very critical information regarding Roe v. Wade.
Roe v. Wade (and its sister case, Doe v. Bolton), guarantee abortion is legal in all 50 states for the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. Though some states have passed abortion bans earlier than 20 weeks gestational age, all of this legislation has been shot down by the courts. The Guttmacher Institute confirms no state has been able to ban abortion prior to 20 weeks gestational age because of Roe.
If Roe is overturned, it would not make abortion illegal. Overturning Roe would simply make abortion a states’ rights issue. Legislatively, the legalization of abortion would be similar to the legalization of marijuana in that each state could democratically do what they please without interference from the federal government.
In his letter, Dr. Parker says “Roe is already not a reality” for some women because there are no abortion clinics near them. While Parker is correct in stating abortion is less accessible for these women because of their location, this has absolutely nothing to do with Roe, which guarantees a licensed abortionist can operate an abortion clinic anywhere in America without any legal impediment.
If Planned Parenthood wants to use some of their $543M dollars in federal funding to open a clinic in the small town of Oxford, Mississippi, there is no law to stop them. Contrary to Dr. Parker’s claim, the legal consequences of Roe are just as much of a reality in rural Mississippi as in New York City.
The lack of abortion clinics in Oxford, Mississippi is not due to legal restrictions; it is a result of culture and economics. There is not an abortion clinic in Oxford, Mississippi because there is little to no desire for one, partly because Mississippi is a very pro-life state. Parker seems to be operating on the idea everyone possesses a legal right to have a taxpayer-funded abortion facility within a certain radius of their home. This idea is ludicrous, and it has nothing to do with the so-called “abortion rights” guaranteed by Roe.
Another little-known fact which Dr. Parker fails to mention is the precedent established by Roe is very radical when compared to the rest of the Western world. Because of Roe, some states have not even been able to ban abortion after 20 weeks, the point at which the child is able to feel pain. As an example, Arizona’s 20-week abortion ban was struck down by the court system because of Roe.
This is a radical precedent, considering there is only one European nation (the Netherlands) where elective abortion is legal after 2o weeks. Roe prevented Arizona from passing common-sense legislation which even 90% of Europe has already passed. Furthermore, America is on a shortlist of seven countries, including China, Vietnam, and North Korea, where elective abortion is legal after 20 weeks. Does Dr. Parker truly want the U.S. to be among the ranks of nations notorious for their human rights abuses?
Overturning Roe would be a completely reasonable legislative move. Our current abortion laws are radically inhumane, and as the leader of the free world, we should expect more from ourselves. America needs to catch up with Europe on common sense abortion reform, and that is why we need to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.