Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Roe v. Wade, abortion in Minnesota and prospects for the future

Today marks the 35th anniversary of the infamous 1973 US Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade which opened the floodgates to eventual abortion on demand, with no restrictions and no questioned asked.

In Minnesota, we've had our own state version of Roe v. Wade in the form of the Minnesota Supreme Court's 1995 decision Doe v. Gomez. Gomez "created" a state right to abortion in the Minnesota Constitution. As a result, Minnesota taxpayers have been forced to spend over $10.8 million dollars on 39,000 abortions since 1995. In 2006,
according to the Minnesota Department of Health, there were 14,065 abortions performed in the state; 3,969 abortions were paid for by taxpayers, which is over 28% of the total. The 2006 figure represents the highest number since the Gomez decision in 1995. A tragedy and travesty.

Of course, this is more business for Planned Parenthood which saw a 21% increase in the number of abortions they are performing in Minnesota. Their one year increase was 648 to a total of 3,660 abortions a year in 2006.

In 2005 alone, taxpayers were forced to pay $1.4 million dollars on taxpayer funded abortions.

The good news is public attitudes are shifting on abortion, particular among the young. They realize that a human life is involved and they see the devastation abortion has wrought in the lives of millions of Americans.

The most interesting article which I've seen was published in Glamour magazine in 2005. It highlighted a CBS/New York Times poll which found the most significant shift away from support for abortion was among young women and then interviewed various young women to find out why.
In 1993 just about half of women between the ages of 18 and 29 said abortion should be available to anyone who wants it, according to a CBS/ New York Times poll; 10 years later, in 2003, the number of young women who felt that way dropped to 35 percent. The youngest group, it turned out, was more conservative about abortion rights than women in every other age category -- except women old enough to be their grandmothers, 65 and up! This slow but steady seismic shift has gone mostly under the radar, but the reverberations may end up deciding the future of abortion in this country.
They interviewed the head of the International Planned Parenthood Council and grandson of the prime mover of Planned Parenthood a couple generations ago, Alexander Sanger. His response to the poll numbers? "I've seen the numbers and I find them unbelievably shocking."

The tide is beginning to turn, but in the meanwhile the tragedy continues.

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