So today was the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the controversial 1973 Supreme Court decision on abortion. And, although he didn't exactly break out an eight-tiered cake or send Harry Blackmun's relatives a novelty birthday card, President Obama commemorated the occasion by issuing a statement that reaffirmed his commitment to protecting a woman's right to choose, reiterating the contrast between his own position on the issue of reproductive rights, and those of the remaining GOP candidates.
In the statement, President Obama wrote:
"As we mark the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we must remember that this Supreme Court decision not only protects a woman’s health and reproductive freedom, but also affirms a broader principle: that government should not intrude on private family matters. I remain committed to protecting a woman’s right to choose and this fundamental constitutional right.
While this is a sensitive and often divisive issue, no matter what our views, we must stay united in our determination to prevent unintended pregnancies, support pregnant women and mothers, reduce the need for abortion, encourage healthy relationships, and promote adoption. And as we remember this historic anniversary, we must also continue our efforts to ensure that our daughters have the same rights, freedoms, and opportunities as our sons to fulfill our dreams."
It kind of makes you want to forward a copy to all of your Facebook friends who post anti-choice rhetoric on their news feeds, with the subject line "BAM!!!" and the video for Montell Jordan's "This Is How We Do It" attached.
The president's message of support for Roe v. Wade is particularly significant when compared to the four remaining GOP candidates' own stances on reproductive rights (if you need a refresher course, they have all stated that they would like to see Roe v. Wade reversed, so states could have the right to ban abortions). Indeed, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who won the South Carolina primary Saturday, reestablished his support at a Personhood Forum for a fetal "personhood" amendment, which would give fetuses full legal personhood rights and possibly make some forms on contraception, in vitro, and stem cell research illegal.