RMC commemorates Roe v. Wade as a vital ruling that strengthened Americans’ right to individual freedom and personal choice.Posted: January 22, 2016
Today, January 22, marks the 43rd anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v Wade decision recognizing the fundamental right to privacy and freedom. The Roe ruling was the decision legalizing abortion. However, we cannot forget that by reaffirming American women’s essential right to make private personal health decisions without interference from government, Roe truly was a reaffirmation of each American’s individual freedom and equality of rights under the law.
The strength of our nation lies in our diversity and understanding that, though we all walk different paths, our common and deepest held value is freedom. Each and every American holds unique values and differing religious beliefs and experiences. We all have unique opportunities and circumstances that shape our lives and our choices. Viewed through this prism and that of our nation’s venerable Constitution, allowing Americans to make decisions and choices that are best for them and for their families is quintessentially American.
After over four decades, the right to personal medical choices established by Roe is firmly embedded in the fabric of our law and society and should be settled law. Yet it is still subjected to endless, divisive public debate. Opponents continue efforts to erode the decision in state capitals across the country as countless laws are being passed all aimed at restricting the right to choose.
In fact, this March the US Supreme Court will hear arguments in the Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole case. The law in question, Texas HB2, blocks access to safe, legal abortion and threatens to close family planning clinics that provide vital preventive reproductive health care. Ideologically motivated legislation designed to deny the personal freedom is antithetical to the values of this liberty-loving nation. It is also antithetical to our founding principles, to the firmly established law of this Court, and to the Republican philosophy that only through small, less intrusive government will individual rights be honored and preserved.
As we commemorate the 43rd anniversary of Roe we are hopeful that the Court will again uphold the true intent of the decision, paved by Republican appointed Justice Sandra Day O’Conner. Roe was never about promoting abortion; it stands for limiting government intrusion and protecting personal freedom, self-determination and privacy. After decades of hostility, perhaps the decision in the Whole Women’s Health case will finally solidify this important value as settled law.
So today, let us join together to celebrate the true significance of Roe v. Wade as a vital ruling that strengthened Americans’ right to individual freedom and personal choice. With that in mind, we urge our elected leaders, on both sides, to stop using Roe as a political football and instead start working together toward commonsense solutions to the ongoing family planning challenges across America.