Happy Friday! Hope you’re all ready for another weekly roundup. I’ve got some stories today to wrap up Trust Women Week with, an interesting blog on human trafficking, an interview with an ally to the feminist community, and some news from Nike – which is a little different than things I’ve written about in the past. Read more »
I find it more than a little ironic that 39 years after Roe v. Wade made abortion legal in this country, states across the country passed a record-breaking 92 restrictions on access to abortion. Every time I read about another law imposing burdensome requirements on abortion providers or women seeking abortions, I think about a friend of mine who had an abortion in Missouri (my home state and one that has more than its fair share of anti-choice laws). Thankfully, she was able to get the care she needed, but she had to overcome numerous hurdles to do so. And it’s easy to imagine that those obstacles could have been nearly impossible to surmount for another woman whose circumstances were slightly different.
It was about two years ago when Katie called me in tears and told me she was pregnant. She was on birth control but had missed a pill the previous month, which was apparently enough for her to become pregnant. Katie wasn’t ready to have kids, and she was certain that abortion was the right choice for her. But it seemed that the state of Missouri didn’t trust her to make that choice. Over the weeks leading up to her abortion, Katie called me nearly every day, and most days she was in tears. Not only was she going through an emotionally difficult experience, but she was forced to jump through a series of hoops that made her feel as if the state was punishing her for her choice. Read more »
As a college student, it’s easy to focus on relatively short-term goals, like doing well on the next midterm, finishing a term paper or even graduating on time. In addition to those daily concerns, I also have to consider what my answer is to the terrifying interview question: “where do you see yourself in 5 years?” Beyond scoring a meaningful summer internship, it’s up to students, like me, to start thinking about what our world will look like after college. Where do we see our post-college world in 5, 10, or even 20 years, and what can I do to help us get there?
Like many women, I have seen how our reproductive choices are controlled or severely limited. I started thinking about the options that other women my age have when it comes to their reproductive health. It was unsettling to realize that because of constant attempts to undermine women’s health, I might not be able to make the choice that I feel is right for my future. Most women in the U.S. face a barrage of obstacles to obtaining an abortion including restrictions placed on abortion services by state legislators, proximity to a clinic, and of course, lack of the financial means needed to obtain an abortion. Read more »
When I started thinking about what I would write to mark the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I knew I couldn’t top my post from last year. I put it all on the table in that post. Prior to writing that post, I had discussed with my mother that I’d be sharing her story and we talked through the likely responses and reactions we’d get for “coming out.” But, it’d be a lie to say that when negative reactions and responses came they didn’t hurt. They did.
It was thanks to Anita Bryant—and her anti-abortion, gay-bashing tirades—that I found my pro-choice heart. But it wasn’t until I got pregnant at the start of my sophomore year at Swarthmore College that I fully appreciated the importance of my right to safe, legal abortion. Yes, I was in a relationship. But not one that was leading to marriage or family. Yes, I was using birth control. But it failed. Read more »
Happy 39th birthday Roe v. Wade! You’ve had a rough life but you keep on persevering, and that is something to celebrate. Because of you, American women have had the constitutional right to abortion for 39 years. But you know better than anyone that for the better part of your life, we’ve had to fight tooth and nail to keep the rights you gave us.
I don’t have to tell you that 2011 was a really rough year for reproductive rights. State legislatures passed 92 measures that undermine women’s access to safe abortion services. The previous record was 34 in 2005. And of course from the attacks on Planned Parenthood funding to the recent ‘Let Women Die Act,’ the House of Representatives had a field day taking the axe to women’s health and bodily autonomy.
I hope the attacks are firing you up and not tearing you down. Women across America are seeing very clearly that they can’t take you for granted. And hopefully, they’re seeing more and more what a big difference public policy can make in their individual lives. Read more »
It’s not easy to identify the moment when I became a staunch supporter of reproductive rights. I think it really just seemed quite obvious to me -- women must have to have the right to choose when they will carry pregnancies to term. I think it was so obvious that I never really thought about the world before the right was recognized by the Supreme Court in 1973. I couldn’t imagine a world where a woman had no choice when faced with an unwanted pregnancy. I couldn’t imagine a life without Roe.
Indeed, I was so clueless that I never really got what was going on in that one scene in Dirty Dancing. You know the one, where there is a hurried, distressed discussion of dirty hangers and you are given a quick scary view of the beautifully-blond dancer shaking and sweating. True, I wasn’t even a preteen when I watched the movie for the first (of a hundred) time. But I really never got how forward-looking that whole scene was even if the rest of the movie was a bunch of serious cheese (that I still love to watch).
Not until I watched that scene more recently did I really think of what it was like before Roe. What that scene told us is that women risked their lives when faced with an unwanted pregnancy, the “back alley” abortion scenario. But to think that life before Roe was just about back alley abortions or clandestine abortions, is also to ignore the efforts that led to Roe and what Roe ultimately said about women’s autonomy (even if not explicitly in the opinion). This is not just about abortions. This is about the women’s movement, about giving women more of a role in the world than child bearing and rearing. Read more »
Welcome to another weekly roundup! We’ve got a few quick hits today, including the possible future of some domestic violence shelters, recognition for an inspiring young scientist, good news in the health care world, and a few celebrations coming up. Read more »