The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


January 20, 2013

40 years later, abortion rift remains

— Tuesday will mark the 40th anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision making it legal for women to terminate a pregnancy, but the debate rages on.

“Over 40 million deaths, murders,” is how Birthright of Sunbury Director Delores Romine sums up the consequences of the Jan. 22, 1973, U.S. Supreme Court decision.

Lisa Wehr, assistant director at Family Planning Plus in Lewisburg, views the federal law as leading to fewer abortions due to the increasing accessibility of birth control.

Little has changed in the four decades since the controversial U.S. Supreme Court decision.

According to a Pew Research Center poll, 63 percent of Americans oppose overturning the law compared to 29 percent of respondents who want it abolished. Those are the same opinions offered in other polls during the past 20 years.

Romine, who describes herself as a lifelong pro-life supporter, said there’s no room for compromise on the issue.

“Every child has a right to life. You either value life or you make excuses,” she said.

Pro-choice group Family Planning Plus supports the availability of birth control to avoid unintended pregnancies, Wehr said, but birth control isn’t 100 percent effective.

“Therefore, we believe abortion should be available. We certainly wouldn’t want to go back to that time when abortions were illegal,” she said of the years before Roe v. Wade, when women sometimes died terminating pregnancies in unsafe conditions.


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