Roe v. Wade has 40th anniversary Tuesday

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This could be the year, and in that fact, Gary Garner finds hope.

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Susan Swanson (right), the executive director at Augusta Care Pregnancy Center, hands out roses during a rally in opposition to abortion and the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade at the center on Walton Way Extension.  JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
Susan Swanson (right), the executive director at Augusta Care Pregnancy Center, hands out roses during a rally in opposition to abortion and the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade at the center on Walton Way Extension.

Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that effectively legalized abortion across the country, turns 40 on Tuesday.

“Forty is a key figure in scripture. We’d like to believe 40 just might be it. This might be the year it is overturned,” said Garner, a leader in Augusta’s anti-abortion movement.

For decades, he and other members of the Alleluia Community have stood watch outside offices of abortion providers in Augusta.

The country remains deeply divided over abortion. Nearly half of Americans say they believe it is wrong to have an abortion. However, a majority also say Roe v. Wade shouldn’t be overturned, a new Pew Research Center poll found.

Americans say the issue is less important than they did years ago, and most Americans younger than 30 can’t correctly identify Roe v. Wade as a case dealing with abortion, according to the January poll.

On the whole, labels such as “pro-choice” and “pro-life” don’t work for most Americans anymore, said Leola Reis, the vice president of external affairs for Planned Parenthood Southeast, which is based in Atlanta.

“They don’t reflect the complexity of the issue, that it is a deeply complex decision for a woman and should be left to a woman, her family, her faith, and her doctor,” she said in a statement. “Unfortunately, politicians still insist on interfering with a woman’s personal decision. We’d like to see a focus on the preventive health care that women in Georgia, and around the country, need.”

Planned Parenthood offices around the country are holding events celebrating the anniversary, which “reminds us that it is essential for continued access to safe and legal abortion for a woman if and when she needs to consider it,” Reis said.

In the 40 years since Roe v. Wade, about 50 million legal abortions have been reported to the Cen­ters for Disease Control and Pre­vention.

Often, women suffer silently as a result, said the Rev. Gerald Ragan, the pastor of St. Mary on the Hill Catholic Church in Augusta.

His church and others across the area offer a Mass and “pro-life rosary” for those affected by abortion. It’s one way the church is able to help people heal, he said.

“I don’t think the story has been told of the negative consequences of having an abortion, of the guilt and the trauma that occurs,” he said.

Ragan says he’s encouraged by the participation of youth in events such as the March for Life, an annual gathering that draws hundreds of thousands to Washington, D.C. A busload or two from Augusta make the annual trip.

“I call it a Woodstock for Christian youth,” he said. “As we move forward, I see hope of changing the holocaust that is affecting our country.”

Planned Parenthood disagrees about the need for post-abortion healing. Here’s how a fact sheet, “The Emotional Affects of Induced Abortion,” begins: “For more than 30 years, substantive research studies have shown that legally induced abortion does not pose mental health problems for women.”

The organization points to several health benefits – physical, emotional and social – since Roe v. Wade. Chief among them was the end of illegal, unsafe back-alley abortions.

Susan Swanson has a hard time talking about “benefits” of Roe v. Wade. She is the director of the Care Pregnancy Center of Augus­ta, where women gather once a week for a post-abortion support group.

“Americans need to wake up. Abor­tion hurts a lot of people,” she said.

For more than two decades, the center has kept an office at 1298 Broad St., the same block as the Augusta Center of Planned Parenthood.

“Our center has been working strategically about closing local abortion clinics,” she said. “They’re weak now.”

By that she means the clinic keeps shorter hours than it used to. And from time to time, they meet women who change their mind about having an abortion.

“The key is changing the heart of Augusta to be more pro-life,” she said. “A community has to buy into changing the culture.”

Last week, the center held a dinner in Evans for supporters. Scott Phelps of the Illinois-based Abstinence & Marriage Partnership spoke.

“We don’t talk about abortion in public schools. It’s too politically toxic,” he said. “When it does come up, the kids are overwhelmingly pro-life. It’s a natural inclination to care for life.”

Phelps started working with young women who were choosing abortions at the ChicagoCare Pregnancy Center in the late 1990s. It’s what led him to develop an abstinence program now taught in schools across the country.

Phelps spoke before the Rich­mond County Board of Education in 2010 when the Care Pregnancy Center attempted to introduce the curriculum to local schools.

“We know 80 percent of abortions occur outside of marriage,” Phelps said. (CDC data from 2009, the most recent year with data available, puts it at 85 percent.) “If we really want to discourage abortions, we encourage marriage and sex in the confines of marriage.”

“Roe v. Wade,” he added, “is a political issue. We’re concerned about the cultural issue and the message kids receive.”

Social mores change, Phelps said.

“There was a strong anti-smoking campaign. It changed public opinion,” he said. “The things can change when society comes to a consensus.”

ROE V. WADE THEN AND NOW

On January 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court considered a challenge to a Texas law outlawing abortions in all cases except when mother’s life was at risk.

The court’s landmark decision recognized that a woman’s constitutional right to privacy protects her right to choose abortion.

Privacy rights, however, are not absolute. States can and do put restrictions on abortion.

In Georgia and South Carolina, women receive counseling before abortions and must wait 24 hours before undergoing the procedure.

Both states also require that the parent of a minor be notified and provide public funding for abortions only in the case of life endangerment, rape or incest.

Comments (18) Add comment
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soapy_725
44164
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soapy_725 01/19/13 - 05:09 pm
1
0
Pagans sacrifice their children to personal convenience....
Unpublished

Righteousness exalted a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.
Deny God. Deny the sanctity of human life. Embrace the ways of pagans. Chart a course to destruction.

OpenCurtain
10049
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OpenCurtain 01/19/13 - 06:08 pm
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5
When it comes right down to it

Abortion is a MORAL Issue between a person and GOD.

Both political parties should have butted out of this Moral issue years ago.

Laws can not instill Morals, only Parents, teachers, moral role models and preachers can.

Which reminds me.
Ever notice how Liberals always bring out the kids to help adjust public views and soften the tough legislation for passage?

But for some reason Liberal never use kids to promote Abortion?
Could it be because, it would point out something called the Liberal Hypocrisy?

KSL
144908
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KSL 01/19/13 - 08:27 pm
3
4
Well said

OpenCurtain. Notice that Republican candidates who steered clear of that personal and moral issue have been successful.

AutumnLeaves
10441
Points
AutumnLeaves 01/19/13 - 10:20 pm
7
4
Abortion.

If an abortion doesn't kill a baby why is the operation to remove it ever done? If it is not a baby you would just leave that unnamed tissue there wouldn't you? It is a unique person that is completely vulnerable to your life or death "choice". Science has proven that human life begins at its conception. This is not just a matter of morality; it is a scientific fact. Now when are our laws going to catch up with that scientific fact? Who has the right to choose a death sentence for a completely innocent human being?

GiantsAllDay
10562
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GiantsAllDay 01/19/13 - 10:56 pm
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0
Can a pregnant woman use the

Can a pregnant woman use the diamond lane on I-20 in Atlanta claim that there are two people in her car? Will the cops let her slide and not give her a ticket?

KSL
144908
Points
KSL 01/20/13 - 12:59 am
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2
But the procedure is OK with

But the procedure is OK with many when it comes to the question of the life of the mother or the life of the embryo.

And in the case of the choice I was allowed to make legally,4 years prior to Roe v Wade, the choice to have an abortion, totally within the law, for medical reasons.

specsta
7184
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specsta 01/20/13 - 01:59 am
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10
Concern

Pro-life folks are always so concerned about a few clumps of cells, but once a baby is actually born, they couldn't care less about its well-being.

jkline
527
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jkline 01/20/13 - 03:04 am
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0
Agree with Open Curain

I actually agree with Open Curtain. This is not a proper subject for government involvement. It is a moral and medical question between the woman and whomever she asks for advice. A group of people in suits in distant capitols, who are not exactly setting the world on fire when it comes to their proper duties, are not a competent authority for this.

OpenCurtain
10049
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OpenCurtain 01/20/13 - 07:29 am
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Please don't misunderstand my comment

My family is personally against Abortion.

While many look at this as a Religious War, between Good and Evil. Yelling and screaming and politicizing it will not stop abortion or win the day. Legal abortions in the USA, have been happening since the before 1940's, just not "on demand", as they are today.

Parents must put down the Smart Phone and get off the Internet a few hours a week to teach their kids morals. Leaving it to the public education system, TV, Internet, the talking head media, and Liberals with No Moral boundaries are NOT a working solutions for teaching morals.

Some things are Morally wrong, but laws are not the solution, Parents are.

OpenCurtain
10049
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OpenCurtain 01/20/13 - 07:34 am
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specsta - Feels Pro-live could careless after birth

How did you arrive at this comment?

RussellCrawford
9
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RussellCrawford 01/20/13 - 07:43 am
1
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The scientific laws that control abortion

There is really good news in the abortion debate. There are scientific laws that settle the issue. Those laws make it clear that abortion in fact saves life and that pro life ideas cause death. For example there are 1.8 born persons dying each second and 1.4 abortions per second. I it impossible for a person to save both the born and the unborn. Therefore one must make a choice of whom to save, they may save the born baby or they may let it die and save a fetus. It is impossible to save both, therefore if one claims to "save life" they must choose which life to save.
And the idea of "life at conception" upon which the pro life movement depends, cannot be proved. Until the DNA of the genotype expresses the correct phenotype one cannot prove that the product of conception is alive or human. In fact 70 percent of all conceptions die in the first trimester and another 15 percent die later. Of those that die, 42 percent do not have enough human DNA to live as a human. In fact only 30 percent of conceptions live to birth while 42 percent are not human enough to live. http://www.naturalabortionlaws.com
http://www.facebook.com/naturalabortionlaw

CobaltGeorge
177182
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CobaltGeorge 01/20/13 - 09:26 am
6
2
WHY?

Instead of all this conservancy for the past 40 years, why can't us humans just leave it in the hands of Gods nature as to who lives and who dies. Basically, that has been the way it was since man was created, that is untill Liberals were born.

CobaltGeorge
177182
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CobaltGeorge 01/20/13 - 09:27 am
5
1
Let's Face It -

Liberals even control Death now!

freeradical
1176
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freeradical 01/20/13 - 09:28 am
5
1
Just like evrything else we

Just like evrything else we are currently living it is a lie .

The lie that 50 million + murders was based upon was that

Jane " ROE " had become pregnant as a result of rape .

When she was discovered , and challanged on this point she recanted

because she knew it was all a lie of a young girl being coached &

mauvered by powerful political forces .

She has since become one of the nations most strident ant-abortion

activists.

Whether you agree or disagree with the law one thing that cannot

be denied is that it has a lie as it's foundation.

And we all know who the father of lies is .

Jane18
12332
Points
Jane18 01/20/13 - 10:58 am
3
3
Comments

George and radical, your words are too simple for our liberal "friends", they just cannot understand common sense! And George, control is all they have ever wanted,but their control is "out-of-control", they are like a runaway train.............and we know how that ends! AND Specsta, a conception, an embryo, a conception, a baby, is "a clump of cells" to you? You forget, you were once these same things, what a hypocrite you are. And don't you ever accuse us, pro-lifers, as not caring once a child is here, you need to check out all your party's people and their caring of their "clumps", that went full term!!

ymnbde
10760
Points
ymnbde 01/20/13 - 11:27 am
2
1
i may be

committing a homophobic (in this case, homo sapiens) stereotype, but wasn't every poster and reader of posts once exactly what is aborted?

AutumnLeaves
10441
Points
AutumnLeaves 01/20/13 - 01:34 pm
4
2
Russell Crawford.

RussellCrawford, so what you're saying is an embryo in the womb of a woman could develop into some other creature, not a human being? Spectsa, your sweeping generalization is false. People that are pro-life are the most likely to provide and nurture for human life after conception and birth until natural death.

Fiat_Lux
16445
Points
Fiat_Lux 01/20/13 - 06:05 pm
1
1
Specsta @1:59 am

Not only are you wrong (nothing new, so no surprise there), but your comment is disgusting.

I hope I'm on hand when you find out just how wrong you are, and what such relentless obtuseness about the reality of abortion costs us, as individuals who are ever-so-blase about taking the life of another human being, and as a nation that has presided over the slaughter of dozens of millions of its children.

But, by golly, I'll bet you about need a diaper change if somebody is cruel to a cow by ripping her calf from her womb so that some well-heeled diner can feast on veal piccata.

RussellCrawford
9
Points
RussellCrawford 01/20/13 - 09:38 pm
1
2
Autumnleaves, I am stating a

Autumnleaves,
I am stating a scientific fact. 42 percent of conceptions do not have enough human DNA to live as humans.
Only 30 percent of conceptions lead to the birth of a human baby.

OpenCurtain
10049
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OpenCurtain 01/21/13 - 08:40 am
1
0
RussellCrawford - 01/20/13 - 09:38 pm comment

Is generally is correct.
The original comment could have been better worded yes, but generally correct.

The common non-medial induced, natural pregnancy miscarriage,
is caused when the embryo development has become flawed.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miscarriage

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