To those of us who came of age during my generation the notion of illegal abortions in an abstract one, regulated to scenes from film and television, not something that could happen in real life. Collectively, we breathed a sigh of relief and got on to doing other important work to fight for equality. However, taking Roe v. Wade for granted and not maintaining vigilance over it has had consequences. Ever more legislation is being passed that imposes draconian rules over a woman’s right to choose. In 2011, the House of Representative voted 8 times on choice-related issues and 26 states enacted one or more anti-choice measures. These have not been small measures either, but laws that erode the very fundamentals choice is based upon. House Bill (H.R. 385) would let hospitals refuse to provide emergency abortion care even when the woman would die without it. Texas recently enacted a law that requires women to receive pre-abortion sonograms, which yes means women have to undergo an unnecessary vaginal probe to
acquire a legal medical procedure.
If we don’t remain vigilant the War on Woman will continue and the effect on choice may be disastrous for years to come. The news isn’t completely grim however, we are strong and we can win if we let our voices be known. In 2011, Mississippi voters rejected a “personhood” ballot measure that would have banned abortion and many types of birth control. Last week, President Obama listened to those of us who had been actively petitioning him to ensure no-cost birth control access for women and stand firm against the heavy lobbying of anti-birth-control organizations. In 2012, everyone should make a commitment to help elect pro-choice candidates and repeal measures that hinder a woman’s right to choose. It is important to become more aware of the attacks on choice that are taking place, don’t let the fact that such measures aren’t being passed in your state make you any less active. If we continue to let anti-choice legislature pass in other states, all will follow suite before long. Enquire into the voting records and statements on choice of politicians, it is important to elect more pro-choice candidates in every type of office. Spread the word. Take a few seconds out of your day to blog, tweet, facebook about issues related to choice. Sign petitions. Start your own. Let this be the year we work to pass an amendment to extend civil rights to woman and lay this issue to rest once and for all.