The U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last Friday, reversing a landmark decision that removes protection to lawfully have an abortion.
Across America, people have expressed opinions from one extreme to the other, with abortion rights supporters protesting throughout the weekend. The Cleveland County Courthouse in Oklahoma was one such site, where people demonstrated with a “die-in.”
Locally, a few people said they could not comment, or preferred not to speak on such a controversial topic. Views from people in Adair County show compassion, yet appreciation for the state's gaining more control and saving lives.
District 27 District Attorney Jack Thorp said that since he was made aware of the Supreme Court's decision Friday morning, he’d been keeping up with the news commentary most of the day.
“I understand the basis for the decision. I also have reviewed recent Oklahoma legislation that was passed in anticipation of this decision. Our office will review the U.S. Supreme Court decision in its entirety, Oklahoma law, and will meet with and advise our law enforcement partners throughout District 27 – Adair, Cherokee, Sequoyah, and Wagoner counties. It is my duty to follow the law, and I intend to do just that,” said Thorp.
Robert St. Pierre said that what so many seem to miss is that the Supreme court did not outlaw abortion; it simply ruled the right to the procedure is not mentioned in the Constitution.
“When reading the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, I can't seem to find any mention of abortion. I do, however, find mention of the right to own firearms, and that it shall not be infringed upon. Too often, the lawyers get involved and feel good about themselves if they are able to twist the wording of documents to fit their agenda. I am not for or against abortion, but I know it is not in the constitution,” St. Pierre said.
Jessica Green sees it as a win.
"Anytime the federal government bows out and hands the power back to the states and leaves it to the people to decide, I feel it is a win. As a Christian, I am looking forward to seeing the church step into an area they have long prayed over, become more proactive in creating a safe place for women and children in need,” said Green.
Larkin Fouse looked at history.
“From the American Federalist perspective that this country was built upon, the decision was the only way that our country could retain its constitutional rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, along with the balance of state and federal powers,” Fouse said.
Jenna Sitsler considered compassion and hopes others will as well.
“I know people who are on both sides of this life-changing event that has happened. I have been asked where I stand on it, and my reply has been, 'I choose to love those who are saddened that they feel their right to choose has been taken, and I choose to love those who are rejoicing that babies are being viewed as life and shouldn't be aborted,'" Sitsler said. "There is no perfect answer or situation when it comes to this, but love will always win. I encourage everyone to be kind and compassionate as people navigate through the overturning of this."
Shelldon Miggletto wishes the conversation would center on prevention, rather than choice.
“There are so many options when it comes to prevention, but no one really talks about them in a national conversation. Being born in late 1973, I could have been legally aborted. I am fortunate that my parents wanted me and I wasn't simply a choice,” said Miggletto.
A focus on what unites is needed.
“I'm sure the decision to legalize abortion nationwide then was equally as controversial as last week's decision. I also don't worry about what might or might not be next with the Supreme Court. My experience tells me not to be too worried about things that might not ever happen. I think the decision being remanded to the states gives each individual citizen of each state more voice through their democratically elected state officials. We are a blessed people, but I think far too many people focus on what divides than what unites,” Miggletto said.
The idea adoption appeals to Mary Bagby.
“First of all, I want to say that under normal circumstances, I would never seek an abortion. However, if I was brutally raped, I believe I would have an abortion. The reason for that is because it would be so difficult to bond with a baby that was conceived under those circumstances. And all children deserve to be loved even before they are born," Bagby. "Some states do allow for that, but unfortunately, we live in a state that does not. Yes, I could give the child up for adoption, but it would be miserable carrying a child for nine months that was conceived by rape or incest."
Minister Rusty Dawson said Americans live in momentous times,
"The values and prevailing views of morality in any society are always changing, and that sort of change causes turmoil. I would have preferred that abortions come to an end because hearts were changed to accept the sanctity of life. I would have preferred that fewer and fewer people would choose to end the life of their unborn because they understood that their child was made in the image of God," he said. "I would have preferred that mothers and fathers and medical professionals in the abortion practice would cease the practice of death because the shedding of innocent blood is an abomination to God [as denoted in] Proverbs 6:16-17.
The Supreme Court got it wrong this time, said Raymond Salazar-Adair, co-chair of the Adair County Democratic Party.
“We grant rights in America; we don’t take rights away. I feel as a man I have no right to tell a woman what she can or cannot do with her body and neither should the government,” said Salazar-Adair.