Editorials for January 2011

January 22nd Marks 38th Anniversary of Roe v Wade

by Debbie Adlof, Editor/Owner Community Word, Peoria, IL 

 It’s no secret that our great country of America has always sought and/or fought to grant freedom to its people. In the beginning, “freedom” was only available to a select few: white male landowners.

 From there our country has evolved – sometimes more slowly than we would like – as it has strived to grant “equal rights” to all. We’ve made great strides in the 235 years we’ve been a nation.

 One group of Americans (which comprises approximately 50% of U.S. population) has been the last group to receive equal rights – freedoms. Women went from not being allowed to own land, to being able to vote, to run for political office, to being business executives. Women are still working on being equally represented in politics, on receiving equal pay, and on breaking through the glass ceiling in the workplace. Women only received the right to vote as recently as 1920. In 1973, American women were granted a legal right to choose whether or not an abortion is a personal option for them.

 January 22nd marks the 38th anniversary of the momentous landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision. Roe v. Wade, which established that abortion was a fundamental right and that all laws attempting to restrict it were subjected to strict scrutiny.

 It didn’t mean that every American woman was going to have an abortion. It didn’t mean that morality was going to disappear. What it did mean was that that every American woman did have that choice, should they choose to exercise it.

 Choice is not a bad thing.

 But, for some reason, many people out there disagree. Somehow they feel threatened by this freedom of choice. It’s pretty simple really. If you’re opposed to abortion, don’t have one. But, for crying out loud, do not presume that your beliefs should be forced on the rest of the population.

 This landmark Supreme Court decision has been one of the most controversial cases in history and national debate on the subject continues today. Efforts have been underway ever since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 to undermine it and to chip away at it.

 The erosion of American rights is a serious threat to this country. Women’s rights have been the last ones earned. And, should the current conservative back-swing continue, women’s rights will be the first to go.

It won’t stop there. More will follow. We, the American people, have a choice. We can either fight to keep ALL our freedoms or we will have to start all over again. It surely would certainly be easier to preserve rights rather than fight for them all over again. 

Cultivate and Recognize Illinois Statesmen and Women

by Dolores M. Klein, Peoria, IL 

 Disgust, cynicism, and other reactions to the political landscape are widespread. This is not unusual. This is not unusual in recollection of sixty years of voting and participation.

 Then along came Bernie Sanders in an hours-long (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington) speech in early December. It was a history lesson for those who watched it all. Like consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren, he keeps my faith alive in the concept of statesmen instead of politician.

 In Illinois we can remember Paul Douglas and Paul Simon, and Republican Charles Percy. Today we have Dick Durbin. For a number of years, courtesy of C-Span, I’ve watched him on the floor of Congress and have been amazed at his grasp of the issues.

We should cultivate and recognize statesmen and women for the sake of our country and ourselves. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *