Last Friday was the 37th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision stemming from a federal case in Dallas. The decision’s also been in the news lately as part of the GOP gubernatorial primary. Namely, U.S. Kay Bailey Hutchison has been on the hot seat with conservatives for saying she doesn’t favor overturning Roe, because doing so would throw responsibility for abortion law back to the individual states, turning some of them into “abortion havens,” making the problem worse. But, is that a realistic scenario? We asked Bishop Kevin Farrell of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas, who referred us to Karen Garnett, executive director of the Catholic Pro-Life Committee of North Texas for the Diocese of Dallas. She had a different take.
Garnett, who stressed that the committee doesn’t endorse or oppose any candidate, says she finds Hutchison’s position “very curious because, under Roe v. Wade, every state is already an ‘abortion haven.’ There are 1.2 million abortions every year–including 80,000 a year in Texas–and there have been a total of 50 million since the 1973 decision.”
The committee wants to see Roe overturned–and it wants every office-seeker to take that position–despite the “patchwork” of state laws that might result. “Some states would want to outlaw abortion, and others would make their laws more restrictive,” Garnett says. “So we think the total number of abortions would go down.”
While “official” reports are incomplete, it’s believed that Texas is the No. 4-ranking state in the number of abortions performed annually, behind California, New York, and Florida.