40th Anniversary for Roe v. Wade
Another year, another Roe event, another post about the importance of the right to abortion, and how the right to practice contraception rests upon 1973’s Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade to uphold a woman’s right to seek abortion.
I’m sorry, but I’ve said it all before:
- That abortion is essential healthcare for women;
- That pregnancies don’t always go as planned;
- That the ability to determine when she will have children and how large her family will be is a woman’s most fundamental right and;
- That all the rest of a woman’s freedoms rest upon that first freedom.
And yet, there are still people out there, a LOT of people, who insist that it is their business whether or not a woman carries a pregnancy to term, that one egg plus one sperm equals a human being more valuable than the adult human woman who carries it, and that, even if the fetus is unhealthy, or the mother is unhealthy, even though it will bring more misery upon women and their families, that God wants that misery for them, and they must, under all circumstances, never ever end a pregnancy.
I’m tired of this skewed and unjust political reality for US women (and women globally, but here I’m focused on Roe). To quote myself:
Women are adults – half the population, half the workforce in the US… Women give birth to ALL of the babies. Thus they must have all of the say over what happens within their own bodies. This is every woman’s right as a human.
The bottom line on abortion is this: as long as birth control is not 100% effective or 100% accessible in the first place, as long as our youth are not taught the facts of life and stumble ignorantly into sexual activity, as long as pregnancies can become unpredictably complicated and life-threatening, or the fetus can develop in such a way as to not be viable outside the womb, abortion will remain a necessity for women. Legal abortion means women will not die or become infertile due to unsafe procedures. Access to abortion means women, not the state, are in charge of their reproductive function.
I’m tired of fighting the multi-headed hydra of misogyny that exists in the US House with bullshit bills like Paul Ryan’s bullshit “Protect Life Act” (known to feminists as the “Let Women Die” Act) or the same thing disguised like the Blunt Amendment in the Senate, or states that utilize the abortion issue to redefine women’s rights, like the “superbill” in Michigan, or the Ultrasound bills proposed in various states, including Pennsylvania, or like the “Jane Crow” laws now being used to detain pregnant women.
There’s only one conclusion I can draw from all this oppression and outrage: they hate our freedom. Too bad for them, because we will never go back. That is the chant heard today in Center City Philadelphia and across the country at countless pro-Roe events: We won’t go back! We won’t go back to women having ten or fifteen children whether they want them or not. We won’t go back to back-room abortions. We won’t go back to sitting down and shutting up.
Luckily for women, we feminists know that we don’t have to sit around and wait to be given our rights. As citizens in a participatory democracy, we can demand them. And we will demand them, and keep demanding them until we get them. Women are here, we’ve been here since forever, and we’re staying. Get used to it.