Learn From Europe?

RECEIVED Wed., July 10, 2013

Dear Editor,
    We've all observed the abortion battle over the years, and I have to wonder how much of these perpetual flames are fanned by politicians on both sides with their own political interests ["SB 1/HB 2: How a Lie Becomes a Law," News, July 12]. It seems that the extremes on both sides are at the forefront of the battle. To some degree I blame Roe v. Wade – not so much the decision, but the idea of judges ramming their viewpoints down our throats. Indeed, even liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg seems to agree that Roe v. Wade went too far and ignored legislative processes that might have handled this in its own way. But it's clear to me that we need to resolve this in some way that allows most of us to put this issue behind us.
    I looked to Europe for guidance. As far as I know, abortion is not a big issue over there. What are they doing differently? Actually, some of their laws sound incredibly like the Texas law we are debating right now. Take France, for example. Abortions are freely available only up to 12 weeks – that's eight weeks shorter than the Texas proposed law. After that, it takes the signatures of two doctors to approve one if they feel the life or health of the mother is at stake. And there is even a mandatory one-week waiting period for early-term abortions. Yet, I don't see French women protesting that they have absolute right over their bodies, nor do I see abortion protesters yelling "babykillers." It seems that everyone accepts this law, draconian by even our standards, and other countries in Europe have similar laws.
    So my question is how do we get to a European model from where we are at? Why is it such an emotionally and politically charged issue here and not there? I would love to find those answers.
Mark Evert
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