February 25, 2012

In 1964 abortions were performed the old fashioned way - illegally and unsafe. And thousands of women annually paid the ultimate price.

Interesting to consider that, some 40 years after the passing of Roe V. Wade the abortion issue still rages. Stranger still, that the majority of the ones carrying on the argument are still Men, as was evidence by the recent hearings photo that went viral.

But in 1964 it didn't seem all that strange, but the question of abortion was very much at the forefront of peoples minds, particularly with the recent introduction of the birth control pill (an early 60's invention) and talk of all these new sexual mores as the result.

So the Public Affairs talk program The Open Mind hosted a discussion on the subject over whether or not Abortion should be legal (in 1964 it wasn't). The difference between the discussion now and the discussion then, at least in 1964,was one of the panel members was a Woman. Alice S. Rossi who was a research Professor and Sociologist at the University of Chicago was the sole Female on the panel discussing an issue solely the property of Women. Oh well.

The rest of the panel members, moderated by Eric F. Goldman were Rev. Robert H. Smith (the clergy, of course), Dr. Alan F. Guttmacher, President of Planned Parenthood and Caleb Foote. The discussion gets heated over the course of an hour, but you can't help but think they are all arguing about a subject they have no business getting involved with in the first place.

The end result is walking away feeling the argument hasn't changed because the players haven't changed. In almost 50 years (longer, but since the time of the broadcast) you would think Men would have the presence of mind to step away from the fray and leave this issue for Women to decide since after all, Women get pregnant, Men don't. As absurd as it seems, listening to this broadcast in 1964, it is more absurd now that it has become a campaign issue and one which Presidential hopes are clinging to. Can we look, just for a second at the logic?

So as a way of demonstrating that some issues won't change until the fundamental arguers change, here is a broadcast of The Open Mind from 1964 broadcast locally over WRCA in New York.

Woe is us.

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