NARAL has asked those of us who support abortion rights to blog today, the 40th anniversary of the Roe versus Wade decision, on our experiences with abortion and why we support Roe. I remember in the early 80′s talking with a fellow student about abortion rights and saying that I thought abortion was okay for older women but not for younger women having casual sex. At that point in my life, I was 34 and I had had quite a bit of casual sex. The conversation made me think. Since I am a statistician, my approach was to look at the numbers. I began looking for data on who has abortions. I found information in the Statistical Abstract of the United States, from Guttmacher. I found most abortions are done on younger women.
My attitude toward abortion became total support for abortion rights when I read Sarah Weddington’s, A Question of Choice. I have never been pregnant, so I have never needed an abortion, but Ms. Weddington’s book made clear the violence that many of the women who wanted to end a pregnancy had to deal with before abortion became legal. I believe it was that violence that swayed the justices on the Supreme Court. I continue to believe that society can trust we women to make the correct decision for ourselves when it comes to the decision to bring a child into this world, that no woman should be forced to bring a child into this world if she does not want to.