By Todd Wineburner with Jim Anderson
Today (Tuesday) marks the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark Roe Vs. Wade decision. The case came out of Texas, and the high court ruled 7 to 2 that a woman’s right to privacy applied even in questions of pregnancy. That ruling from 1973 launched a debate that is still going on.
Much of the battle has moved out of the federal realm and is happening at the state level. That’s the opinion of James Simeone, the political science chair at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington. He says states are largely responsible for implementing the details of balancing the rights of a pregnant woman against the rights of the unborn, and those who would speak on behalf of the child.
The abortion question remains a political litmus test because it’s a difficult question to sidestep. Even in some of the country’s most recent campaigns, poorly planned comments on the abortion question has undermined the efforts of even solid candidates. Simeone says the debate is ultimately positive, however, because he says a democracy needs citizens who are engaged and informed, and the intensity of the abortion prompts a high level of commitment.