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Opinion: My Mother Was Right About Abortion When She Became Pregnant in 1940

OpinionOpinion: My Mother Was Right About Abortion When She Became Pregnant in 1940

A pro-life advocate supports a Caravan of Life, involving about 75 cars.An anti-abortion demonstrator supports the Caravan the Celebrate Life in 2021. Photo by Chris Stone

The Supreme Court seems likely to throw out the controversial 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that resulted in over 65 million abortions of babies who would have been born American citizens.

Republican lawmakers who were conservative, Roman Catholic or otherwise Christian, or who represented solid Republican districts or states, have generally worked hard to overturn the decision.

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The Republican Party has long led opposition to abortion despite individual Republican politicians like Ronald Reagan signing a very liberal California law before Roe v. Wade.

So that you understand why I, personally, am against abortion, it is not because I am a Republican. My mother, a passionate Democrat, was against it too.

My mother became pregnant with me when she was 14 in 1940. She was 15 in January 1941 when she had me. She was not a poor Mexican American girl living in a Mexico City slum. The family I was born into had money and position in Mexico. Economics was not a problem.

Despite being urged to abort me, she refused. She did not believe in abortion; she believed that children were gifts from God.

In my case my mother welcomed me, despite being only 15. At 17, without speaking a word of English, having lived in Mexico since she was one, she came to the United States, where she had been born. She was 17 and I was two years and nine months old.

The minute I stepped onto American soil in Texas, I was reborn as an American — a free American. That freedom was, unfortunately, denied to the 65 million babies not born because of Roe v. Wade.

Though my mother followed the Democratic Party until the day she passed, and I took the Republican road and still do — despite Donald Trump — my mother and I joined together to oppose abortion. She would approve of the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

Obviously, many are shocked about the potential demise of Roe v. Wade. It should be remembered, however, that ideas about birth control and abortion in America developed alongside the eugenics movement, the now rejected belief that some people are unfit to reproduce. In pre-World War II America, that included Blacks and Latinos.

Assuming that Roe v. Wade is overturned, access to abortion will likely survive at the state level. We know that as many as 26 states, mostly in the Southeast and Midwest, will restrict or abolish abortion. That leaves 24 states, including California, where it will be legal.

The impact of state control and availability pretty much cancels the arguments against overturning Roe v. Wade. Abortion will continue to be legal in many states throughout the country.

There is also an opportunity at any time for the Congress to enter the picture and pass a national law permitting abortion everywhere. That, of course, would require the House of Representatives to pass a bill followed by at least 60 Senators voting to overcome a filibuster by abortion opponents.

That won’t happen. Each state will weigh in on abortion and how many more states will limit or end abortion is unknown. There will be unhappy people on both sides.

There will also be more babies. And that, in my view, is better than good — it is great.

Raoul Lowery Contreras is a Marine Corps veteran, political consultant and author of the new book White Anglo-Saxon Protestants (WASPS) & Mexicans. His work has appeared in the New American News Service of the New York Times Syndicate.

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