By MIKE SOUTHWORTH
Twenty-five years after the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court ruling, abortion still leaves Americans divided.
To mark the 25th anniversary of the ruling, the J. Ruben Clark Law School will host a forum entitled “Abortion in America — 25 years after Roe vs. Wade,” on Thursday Jan. 22 at 11:00 a.m. in 303 JRCB.
The forum will feature three speakers, all attorneys involved in studying, writing or litigating abortion: Lynn Wardle, BYU law professor; Camille Williams, attorney and BYU part-time family science faculty; and Kay Balmforth, attorney and executive director of NGO Family Voice.
They will focus on “the practical effects of abortion, statistics on how many abortions are being performed, and the on-going moral contoversy,” Wardle said.
“We will dispel the myths of this “benign practice,” he said.
Roe vs. Wade ruled that a woman could have an abortion if she wants one at any time during the pregnancy up to viability, which is when the baby could live outside the mother with or without assistance, Balmforth said.
The Associated Press incorrectly reported the ruling last week when it reported, “The Supreme Court ruled in 1973 that a woman can have an abortion if she wants one at any time during the first three months of pregnancy,” Wardle said.
Viability can actually be as early as 16 weeks or as late as 36 weeks, he said.
“The AP mistakes that the Supreme Court has legalized abortion for only early pregnancy. The truth is, millions of abortions are done after the first trimester,” Wardle said.
“Women are becoming more irresponsibile with contraception and using abortion as a form of birth control,” Balmforth said. “It’s questionable whether this is a form of behavior the Supreme Court should be reinforcing and protecting.”
The controversy about abortion still splits the American public. According to an AP nationwide telephone poll, 47 percent of Americans favor the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion. The poll of 1,102 adults was taken Jan. 8 through Jan. 12.
The poll also included that religion had the largest influence on their thinking on the issue of abortion.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has always spoken out against abortions on demand. “Church leaders have encouraged to save the sanctity of life,” Bamforth said.