The 40th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade: The War On Legal Abortion Rages On
Forty years ago today, women got legal access to safe abortions. Over the last four decades, Conservatives have argued against the Roe v. Wade ruling. For the most part it has stayed in the background, and the loudest voices in the fight to strip women of this freedom come from extremists—the ones who protest clinics providing abortion services. They hold up bloody signs and scream and yell, but they are by and large, ignored by everyone.
2011 saw a resurgence of Republicans dominating state legislatures and in the nation’s capitol, Republicans gained a majority in the House of Representatives. Within months, they had already introduced or passed 916 pieces of anti-woman legislation and the majority focused on abortion restrictions. The list grew in 2012.
In an article written for RH Reality Check, activist Soraya Chemaly recently informed us that a startling number of women under thirty have no idea the Roe v. Wade ruling is about abortion.
For decades the U.S. experienced a feeling of growth, progress and wealth. There were recessions and setbacks but we thrived and we felt it. Women in the workplace earning hefty paychecks proved that gender has nothing to do with ability. Something changed in the last decade. It started happening during the Bush Administration. FOX News gained momentum and with the lies they promoted, they successfully created the Tea Party: a movement built on lies, fear and hatred. These folks are hell bent on destroying America in the name of “freedom.” They use their hypocritical religious views to justify the dismantling of what took over two hundred years to build.
One of the most important weapons of mass destruction the Tea Party uses is the subjugation of women, and abortion is at the top of their list. The slow and steady stripping of rights and access to affordable health care for impoverished women places a close second. Mississippi is almost ready to close its last ‘abortion’ clinic in the state, making it impossible for a woman to seek out safe and affordable abortion options. These clinics offer much more than abortion services. They offer cancer screenings, pap smears and birth control. In today’s rocky economy, these clinics allow women, children and even men in some cases, to get quality care when they are out of work and have no insurance and no where else to turn.
Planned Parenthood has suffered great losses in the last two years. Clinics across the country have been de-funded, causing them to shut their doors despite the Title X grants awarded by Obama that kept some of the doors open.
The Tea Party is, in reality, a small percentage of the population. Yet their loud voices have successfully destroyed decades of progress in a short time. One way they are able to succeed is by the lack of knowledge, specifically from today’s youth, who are too focused on the Kardashians and where they’ll be hangin’ on the weekend. It’s typical and normal to be young and carefree. But if we allow the young people of today to continue to be unaware of what is at stake, we are at risk of losing it all. The 2012 election season proved that misogyny is alive and well in the Republican Party.
On this anniversary of a woman’s right to choose, please take some time to make sure the young people you know understand what safe and legal abortion means to them. Explain to them that in the years before it was legal, criminalizing abortion did NOT reduce the number of women who sought illegal abortions. It is estimated that prior to the Roe v. Wade ruling, there were 1.2 million illegal abortions annually, and although accurate records were not kept, it is known that thousands of women were harmed. Women who did not have safe, legal access attempted to self-abort which resulted in death or serious, ongoing medical problems.
Going in a backwards direction and taking this option away will only create more deaths and more injuries. The argument that women should just keep their legs closed and stop having sex is as ridiculous as telling men to stop looking at women’s breasts. It’s simply not going to happen. Birth control is not 100% reliable and occasionally a woman who is being responsible finds her self pregnant. Women are in a battle to ensure our rights are preserved but we have more to do. We are in a fight for freedom. We MUST win.
We have come too far to allow a fringe group to return us to the back alleys. NO ONE WANTS TO HAVE AN ABORTION. Sometimes abortion is the most responsible decision a woman can make.
Kimberley A. Johnson – A.K.A. The Anti Coulter is the author of The Virgin Diaries and an activist for women’s rights. Like her on Facebook, Twitter or friend her on FB HERE. Check out her campaign to raise money for her next book on Women’s Rights and The Importance Of Voting.