Classic Signals: Abortion

Every week, Features Editor Lily Firth hits the archives and finds old Signals that relate to current College topics and top stories.

Abortion has been a highly debated issue in the U.S. for many years. Some vow against it for ethical or religious reasons, while others believe it is a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her own body. Others only support abortion in specific instances, such as rape or incest. In 1989, a women’s studies class held a debate about the ethics of abortion.

The legalization of abortion remains controversial. (Photo courtesy of the TCNJ Digital Archive)

An abortion debate, sponsored by Dr. Nadine Shanler’s Intro to Women’s Studies class and Women’s Center, will take place on Monday, March 13, at 5:15 in room 134 of Forcina Hall.

Its purpose is to make people aware of the question, “Should women have the right to a safe and legal abortion?”

Fran Avalone, Director of a pro-abortion organization, “NJ Right to Choose,” and Rita Martin, Legislative Director of an anti-abortion organization, “NJ’s citizens concern for life,” will head the debate.

According to Dr. Shanler, the year 1989 may mark a significant turning point in reproductive freedom, privacy rights, and women’s equality, if people don’t become more involved in the abortion decision.

For more than 15 years, a small segment of the population has sought to overturn the 1973 case of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision recognizing a fundamental right to choose to terminate a pregnancy.

In the 7 to 2 decision, the Supreme Court recognized that pregnant women are entitled to the same rights of privacy as any other individual, including the right to choose whether or not to have an abortion.

According to an article, “Threat to Women’s Rights, Public Must Act,” in American Civil Liberties Union magazine, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor has said she would allow certain legislation restricting abortions that would deny most women the right.

The author of the Roe v. Wade decision, Justice Harry A. Blackmun warned readers that the decision may be toppled.

In November 88′, Richard Thornburgh, the Attorney General of the United States, asked the Supreme Court to use the Missouri case to overturn Roe v. Wade.

The fight, pro-abortion v. anti-abortion is underway. If you would like to further educate yourself, attend the debate. Hear both sides.

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