A Pattern of Denial
by Robert E. Hurley, M.D.
What have Roe v. Wade and deadbeat dads, single moms, poverty and STD’s in common? Quite a lot, actually. In his 1996 Pastoral Letter on Courage, Arlington Bishop John Keating pointed to the connection by noting, “as radical feminism demands that abortion be readily available as an exclusively female option to bear or to abort a child, it unwittingly justifies male abandonment and lack of commitment.” And, unwittingly or not, this is precisely what the Roe v. Wade decision did. The court decreed that a former crime is now a “right” to have an infant destroyed, and that the authority to enforce this “right” is conferred on the woman exclusively. If that’s the case, then since authority and responsibility go together and since no one can be held responsible for anything over which he has no authority or control, it is only logical for men to conclude that the court has transferred their responsibility to whomever it has given decision-making authority. Roe v. Wade has given both men and women a legal rationale for abandoning their responsibilities toward others, including each other. The consequences for themselves and society have been predictably disastrous.
Roe v. Wade with its fatherlessness result is key to the social and national disintegration we see threatening on all sides, from single parenthood to school drop-outs, increased crime, STD’s, poverty, child abuse, etc. Animus against men and fathers (War on Men) by feminists (both men and women) who dominate government-media-academic forums has been obvious for decades. We would do well to keep in mind that any “War on Men” is also a thinly-disguised “War on Women” and any “War on Women” is also a “War on Men.” We are created male and female, a complement for one another. The only possible beneficiary of any such “war” has to be an entity other than men or women – maybe intrusive government power, maybe corporate need for a fungible work force – but definitely not men, women and families.
One of the characteristic symptoms of being in the throes of an ideology is denial of evidence and uncomfortable facts. In the case of the Supreme Court 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, the scientifically established fact that human life begins at conception had to be denied in order to support an ideological conclusion. Justice Byron White, in his dissent, referred to the decision as no more than “an exercise of raw judicial power” without any basis in fact, constitutional law, or precedent. The social maladies arising from pervasive fatherlessness have been enumerated and researched extensively, and a variety of symptomatic solutions propounded with little or no success. The root cause of our late 20th and early 21st century difficulties may not be the law, per se, but the law is an influential social instructor, and so, Roe v. Wade is the prime suspect. It should be indicted and overturned.