NEW YORK – News that the United States Supreme Court may be about to overturn Roe. v Wade, thus triggering laws banning abortions in 22 states across the United States, came like a bolt from the blue. Specifically, the Court’s 1973 decision, Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, protects a pregnant woman’s freedom to choose to have an abortion. The new twist, leaked drafts of opinions on cases currently before the Court, has further agitated America on an already divisive issue, with many citizens taking to the streets and demonstrating either for or against abortion.
Many Greek-Americans, reflecting a large percentage, if not the majority of opinion in the United States, are not in favor of this change and the legislation it would spur.
Demetra (she wanted to remain anonymous), a mother of two, is against overturning Roe v. Wade. She firmly believes that “our body belongs to us and only each person can and should decide… No one can tell a woman what to do with her body and what not to. I am 27 years old and at 21 I got pregnant without wanting to. I didn’t want the child. I was alone, with no one by my side. I had a hard time raising it but I couldn’t even afford an abortion at the time. Everything would have been better if I had terminated that pregnancy [but that is] not to say I regret having a child. It is the best thing that has happened to me, but I had a hard time and that is why I think every woman should do what she thinks is best for her life. Let’s stop considering abortion a taboo and let’s not go back 50 years… Especially in the land of freedom that we live in.”
Sophia Marioudi, mother of four, on the other hand, speaking to TNH, explained why she is against abortion and agrees with the overturning of current law. She said, “no one has the right to take a human life. It is a crime to deprive a fetus of human life. By the same logic in which a law gives you the right to terminate a pregnancy, the legislature should also protect a mother who takes the life of a sick living child. There is no difference. There are many forms of contraception and I’m completely against it. I am 36 years old and have four children and believe me, it is not all easy and smooth but the joy that children give you cannot be described. It is a huge crime.”
Radio producer Costas Katehis took a more neutral stance, speaking to TNH, he said, “it is a very big and important issue. I believe that only the parents of the child have the right to decide what to do and what not to do. It should be the individual’s policy and not the state’s. Doctors in discussion with parents should lay down all the facts and decide why there might be health problems. What is going on in the media these days is unacceptable. Even the Church has taken a stand on this issue without having to, in my opinion. What happens in case of a rape? Why not let the victim go ahead with the termination of the pregnancy? As I said it is a very delicate issue.”