Local News

NCSU Professor: Roe v. Wade Impact Could Lead To Potential Overcrowding

Posted January 22, 2003 4:59 a.m. EST

— North Carolina became one of four states to have legalized abortion six years before Roe v. Wade. As supporters and opponents debate the law, a North Carolina State University professor believes the ruling could impact people in ways many people have not considered.

Dr. John Riddle heads the history department at the university. He has written books on the history of contraception and pregnancies. His view on the court's action 30 years ago differs from the mainstream.

"When Roe v. Wade was written, both the majority and the minority were going on the basis of how they perceived history to have been," he said.

Riddle said he believes the ongoing debate will shift very little because neither side can accept the other's view of the beginning of life. The debate prompted Riddle to write a book, which poses a way of how Roe v. Wade could be used.

"It says the state does have the right to legislate the restriction of the creation of human life as has happened in China, for instance," he said.

Riddle said the Supreme Court may have to address the potential overpopulation in the United States.

"We are going to have to have a judiciary that is going to have to take a very broad interpretation and may have to look at Roe v. Wade in a different light on the basis of the kind of experiences that we'll probably face in the next half century," he said.

Riddle also cited India as an example of extreme overpopulation that could someday be experienced in the United States.