RMC Responds: What Roe Really Means and Why it MattersPosted: January 24, 2014
This week marks the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, unquestionably one of the most groundbreaking Supreme Court decisions in American history. In honor of the 1973 decision, we want to take this opportunity to focus on what Roe really means for Americans and why choice matters so much.
As representatives from both sides of the abortion debate speak out about Roe and imposing new restrictions in reproductive health rights, you may be asking yourself this question: why should I care? One Facebook commenter this week even said, “I can’t believe that this is still an issue, 40 years after Roe v Wade” highlighting how contested this right still is as battles for choice and personal liberty continue to rage across the country.
We, like millions of other Republicans, believe in the GOP core values safeguarding the constitutional protections of privacy and the separation of Church and State. Yet 41 years after the historic Roe ruling, we struggle with how personal freedom is too often disregarded in political gamesmanship as if it shouldn’t be part of the equation.
Very personal medical and family decisions have become regular headline-making fodder for those of all political stripes. Unfortunately, there are those on both sides more interested in exploiting views for political gain than in opening a meaningful dialogue about ways to protect personal freedom while ensuring women and families have information and access to ALL of their reproductive health choices. Battle lines are too quickly drawn in politics and everything seems black and white, for or against. But we know that in real life voters and families understand that each situation is different, that each family is different, and that all are trying to make the best and most responsible decisions for themselves.
Roe v. Wade is and has always been about protecting the rights and safety of Americans NOT about the promotion of abortion. And we believe that information, early intervention and access to the full range of services are the keys to limiting the rate of abortion in our country. Regardless of which label, pro- or anti-choice, we choose to carry, this is a goal we all share. The only way to reduce the rate of unintended pregnancy and abortion is to focus on education and prevention. Studies have repeatedly shown that increasing access to reproductive healthcare improves women’s health, leads to healthier and safer pregnancies, improves women’s level of education and employment, and promotes stronger relationships. Focusing on preventive reproductive health policies rather than further constricting women’s access to legal family planning would benefit all.
Roe v Wade is not a political issue; it is common sense. The underlying principles embedded in Roe; limited government, individual liberty and preventative safeguards apply to economics as much as social policy. And, as we commemorate the truths behind the Roe v. Wade decision — protecting freedom, personal choice, strong families and real solutions— RMC calls on all elected leaders to stop playing politics with a critically important issue regarding personal freedom and autonomy– and start focusing on solutions instead.