Don’t overturn Roe v. Wade

This letter is in response to Michel van der Hoek’s, Nov. 12

letter “Abortion stance cost Democrats election.”

First off, I think no man has the right to comment on a woman’s choice. Until men are able to bear children of their own, men’s meddling with this issue is nothing but another example of gender colonialism, arrogantly deciding what is best for women, and therefore feeding the stereotype that women are intellectually inferior and in need of male guiding.

Van der Hoek seems to draw his gender definitions from the age-old stereotype that women represent nature and desire, while men stand for rationality and intellect. This ill-defined paradigm emerges when he states that a woman’s decision for an abortion is made “simply because it interferes with her own desires.”

I beg to differ – it is neither simple nor desire-driven. Most women make the decision only after careful consideration of the child’s physical, psychological, emotional and economical safety and with severe psychological damage to themselves, caused by the trauma of the procedure and by the guilt that is additionally fueled by massive anti-abortion propaganda. (Not to mention the physical danger that violent anti-abortion terrorists pose to doctors, clinic staff and patients.)

The Roe v. Wade case is about far more than abortion. It is a decision that acknowledges gender equality and is a milestone for civil rights. It just underlines the basic right that the government cannot interfere with personal decisions about procreation, marriage and other aspects of family life. Overturn Roe v. Wade, and open your (bedroom) door to the government. If you “shudder” at the outlook of “Republicans ruining America’s natural areas and their big-money propaganda,” start to tremble when they begin to meddle with your body.

But then again, van der Hoek does not have a uterus and therefore can coolly look on when the percentage of deaths due to pregnancy and childbirth as the result of illegal abortions will be rising back to the level of 1965.

Overturning Roe v. Wade would turn back the clock on gender equality by disabling women to pursue educational and employment opportunities that were facilitated by their ability to control their reproductive lives.

Jürgen Laun, graduate student, German, Scandinavian and Dutch