Don't forget reality prior to Roe v. Wade

info@islandpacket.comNovember 4, 2012 

As a pro-choice woman in college when Roe v. Wade was decided, I remember what it was like. A few states permitted abortions. Most didn't, except to preserve the mother's life, or in cases of rape or incest. A few added a "health of the mother" exception. Neither Mitt Romney nor Paul Ryan support this last exception, by the way.

But if a woman has her good health ruined, how does she earn a living, care for her family, pay her medical bills or live a life without pain?

In Romney-world, would loss of half her kidney function disqualify her for the "life at risk" exception because, hey, nature builds in the redundancy of two kidneys? Would loss of all function still not be enough? After all, great strides have been made in living with long-term dialysis.

What about her mental health? Would she have to prove not just depression, but likely suicide? (By the way, pre-Roe v. Wade, some states included mental health in the health exception, most didn't.)

Would she have to prove a pregnancy so devastating to her health that her very life is at risk? Would there be a hearing where she calls experts? Who decides, and is there an appeal?

Before you vote, please talk to other women who remember.

Kathy D. Lindsay


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