Debate Still Exists on 40th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

By: Elizabeth Lamb Email
By: Elizabeth Lamb Email

STAUNTON, Va. -- The landmark Supreme Court case, which legalized abortion in the United States, was passed 40 years ago on Tuesday. The case Roe v. Wade changed the face of women's health care.

Several people on both sides of the abortion debate said it's a debate that will probably never end.

Alexandra Ballard, a Mary Baldwin College sophomore, said women getting the right to an abortion 40 years ago changed women's health care.

“It had an empowering effect for some women, and it had more of a demeaning effect for some women,” said Ballard.

The historic Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade legalized abortion and Ballard said it could have saved her life.

She faced uterine cancer at age 15 and survived thanks to medical techniques used in abortions. She supports the 40-year-old court decision.

“Even if I didn't have cancer, and I had a baby, and I wanted to have an abortion, that's my right and should always be.”

Lt. Gov. candidate E.W. Jackson called the right to life the first right someone has. He called the court's decision a mistake.

“I join with the millions of Americans who remember the nearly 60 million children who are not with us, who are dead because of legalized abortion. Every abortion takes the innocent life of a neighbor in the womb,” said Jackson.

Kacy Coates, another MBC student, said abortion is a complicated cultural issue people will always debate. She also believes it's slowly becoming an issue for state government, not the federal government, to rule on.

“There are so many people who are on both sides who are not only personally against it, but they feel like it's a really moral, sometimes religious, ethical dilemma,” said Coates.

On Tuesday, Congressman Bob Goodlatte reached out to his followers on Twitter about this anniversary. He tweeted, “On the 40th anniversary of #RoevWade, it is a reminder that the work to protect the lives of the unborn continues today.”

There are several bills in Virginia's General Assembly dealing with abortion. One could restrict the ability of low-income women to use Medicaid to pay for abortions, if the baby has a physical deformity or mental deficiency.

That proposed bill comes a year after the General Assembly passed what's called the ultrasound bill. It requires women to get an ultrasound before getting an abortion.

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