Roe v. Wade: 40 Years Later the Debate Continues

Roe v. Wade: 40 Years Later the Debate Continues

One group in Memphis would like Roe v. Wade abolished, a second says it allows women to have safe, legal abortions—because they’re going to have them anyway.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - It is the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade; do your kids have an understanding of what that means?

According to the New York Times, only 44 percent of people under thirty know the law deals with abortion.

Roe v. Wade has been polarizing since its inception and that has not changed.

One group in Memphis would like Roe v. Wade abolished, a second says it allows women to have safe, legal abortions—because they’re going to have them anyway.

“We would like to see the rights of women to have abortion services preserved,” Dr. Owen Phillips told abc24.com.

Phillips is an OB/GYN at the University of Tennessee.

"We’re looked at as being the pro-life school in Memphis,” said Sharon Masterson, the Director of Communications at St. Benedict High School.

100 St. Benedict students were set to bus to Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, January 23 to take part in the annual Pro Life Parade.

“It’s this movement that is bigger than yourself,” said junior, Luckie Krog. “You see what is being lost.”

Conversely, at a Roe v. Wade event on January 22, Patricia Parris remembered a time before the law, when she stumbled into a ward of sick women at John Gaston Hospital.

“He said—that’s the criminal abortion ward,” Patricia Parris explained, “they’ve had septic abortions in alleyways or on tables and they’re all dying.”

Parris is a supporter of current law. But for the pro life students at St. Benedict their path is clear.

“They’ve taken this on as their own,” said Masterson, “and they want it ended.”

St. Benedict students have marched in the pro life parade 24 times, leading it in 2001.

“It’s really powerful to see that many people gather for one cause,” said sophomore Hannah Jones.

Statistics do show abortion on a downward spiral.

“And that’s good news,” said Dr. Phillips, “what it means is we’re doing a better job educating women.”

Even those who support the law, say they are not pro-abortion.

“Each individual woman has to have her own choice to control her own body,” Parris told abc24.com, “it’s just that simple.”

And it's just as simple on the other side for a group of committed teenagers.

“The country’s getting more and more pro life every year,” said Krog, “we’re in the majority for the first time since Roe v. Wade.”

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