Archived Opinion

Most Americans 
support abortion rights

Most Americans 
support abortion rights

To the Editor: 

I read with interest Mr. Crider’s “Another view on Abortion”  opinion piece in the Aug. 3 edition of the Smoky Mountain News. Mr. Crider makes several correct points about who is anti-abortion and who is pro- abortion rights, and I appreciate that he admits that he has been hypocritical in his pro-life beliefs. He is not alone.

Statistics on abortions in 2019 show that 60% of the women seeking abortions identified as having religious affiliations: 24% identified as Catholic and 13% as evangelical, 17% as other main line denominations and 6% as other. As these stats show, it is easy to be pro-life when it is an abstract concept, but when it is your body or the body of someone you love, it is a whole different perspective. 

Mr. Crider also correctly points out that our “current horrible” maternal death rate and infant mortality stats have a been accrued while Roe v Wade was in place. What he may not be old enough to know or has chosen to ignore is the fact that these statistics were worse in the pre-Roe era. If fact one of the main reasons cited for passing Roe was to cut down on the number of women who were dying from illegal botched abortions from providers who were not trained in how to do it safely. It is also worth remembering that in 1973 when Roe was passed, the Supreme Court was all male, the decision to pass was 7 votes for and 2 against, and 5 of the judges voting for Roe were appointed by Republicans. 

Mr. Crider also brought up the question of do the unborn have rights. He states, “I think they do, and so do most other people.” Mr. Crider certainly has the right to think that the unborn do have rights, but I differ with the “so do most other people” part. As the recent vote in Kansas shows, as do similar votes in three or four other states in recent years, 55-60% of voters supported keeping Roe in place, while 40-45% voted to overturn Roe. Recent polling since the Dobbs decision was announced also show 60% favor keeping Roe in place. By my math, 60 is more than 40. 

However, the argument isn’t really about being pro- or anti-abortion. The real issue is about who gets to decide about how to handle an unwanted pregnancy or a pregnancy that threatens the life of the person who is pregnant. Having Roe on the books does not prevent anyone who is pro-life from practicing their choice not to have an abortion, nor is there any undue burden in exercising that choice. However, someone wanting to exercise their personal choice to have an abortion could be greatly harmed and be unduly burdened by taking away their right to a safe and legal abortion. By leaving Roe on the books, both sides get to safely exercise the choice that is right for them. 

Jane Harrison 

Haywood County 

Leave a comment

2 comments

  • I don't know anyone that is "pro-abortion", however, according to polling records, most Americans believe in a woman's right to choose how she will handle her own health care for her own body.

    posted by Chuck Zimmerman

    Friday, 08/12/2022

  • Most Americans think that Liberals are a cult.

    posted by Lucille Josephs

    Thursday, 08/11/2022

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