I was thrilled to be providing women’s healthcare yesterday on the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade – the foundational decision in 1973 to legalize abortion. Some wonderful writers put out some wonderful information regarding the history, anniversary, and current culture surrounding the 40th celebration of this reproductive right. Check out this awesome list!
‘Roe v. Wade’ Turns 40, But Abortion Debate is Even Older – Julie Rovner at NPR
An awesome history of the anti-abortion movement, involving male-dominated law organizations, Richard Nixon, and the Catholic Church’s grassroots movements. Great pictures visualizing the history as well!
“…One important thing most people don’t realize, says Greenhouse, is that the move to relax state abortion laws came not from women’s rights groups but from the medical profession and a prominent apolitical group of judges and lawyers called the American Law Institute.
“These were heavily, heavily male-dominated professional organizations that looked at the regime of criminal abortion laws that were driving women to back alleys and were putting doctors in legal jeopardy if they acted in what they considered to be the best interests of their patients,” Greenhouse says. “And that’s where the impetus really began.”…”
What Choice? – Kate Pickert at Time
A long and totally awesome article discussing politics over the past couple of years, mentioning “new” feminists in their 20s and 30s battling with historical feminists as to levels of involvement in the current abortion movement, and day-to-day clinic work.
“…In the past two decades, laws like the ones that govern appointments at Red River have been passed with regularity as pro-life state legislators have redrawn the boundaries of legal abortion in the U.S. In 2011, 92 abortion-regulating provisions–a record number–passed in 24 states after Republicans gained new and larger majorities in 2010 in many legislatures across the country. These laws make it harder every year to exercise a right heralded as a crowning achievement of the 20th century women’s movement. In addition to North Dakota, three other states–South Dakota, Mississippi and Arkansas–have just one surgical-abortion clinic in operation. The number of abortion providers nationwide shrank from 2,908 in 1982 to 1,793 in 2008, the latest year for which data is available. Getting an abortion in America is, in some places, harder today than at any point since it became a constitutionally protected right 40 years ago this month…”
The Geography of Abortion Access – Michael Keller, Allison Yarrow at The Daily Beast
“…The clearest trend on the map is the dearth of clinics through the center of the country—from northern Texas through Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, and North Dakota. Roughly 400,000 women of reproductive age (between 15 and 44) live more than 150 miles from the closest clinic in this region. The county farthest away from an abortion clinic is Divide, N.D. All of these states except Wyoming require 24-hour waiting periods between the time a woman schedules an abortion and the procedure.
Often, the states with the fewest clinics also have more restrictions. These are six of the many states that recently curtailed access to medical abortion—also known as the abortion pill—by banning telemedicine, a method doctors use to prescribe medication to terminate a pregnancy over a video chat, a convenience to people who live in rural areas…”
The Road to Roe – Cynthia Greenlee-Donnell at reproductivejusticeblog.org
“…But the road to Roe was paved not just with the bodies of women, but with the legal activism of African Americans. We can’t talk about Roe without nodding to the 1970 Abramowicz v. Lefkowitz case that triggered the liberalization of New York state’s abortion law before Weddington’s date with the justices. On the legal team was Florynce Kennedy, the National Organization for Women co-founder who argued pointedly—and for the first time in any legal case—that changing the state’s abortion law was not merely a matter of physicians’ right to practice, but also women’s rights. Kennedy gathered women’s abortion stories at her kitchen table, but there were also other black power brokers at the metaphorical table. Noted civil rights attorney Napoleon Williams was an assisting counsel, and Percy Sutton—a former Freedom Rider, Manhattan borough president, and Apollo Theater investor—signaled his support. Civil rights and reproductive rights were not mutually exclusive.
In the 1960s and early 1970s, the first generation of black women elected to statewide office put reforming abortion laws on the legislative agenda—even in red states. In 1967, Dr. Dorothy Brown of Tennessee—a surgeon who ran back and forth between the hospital and General Assembly—introduced an unsuccessful bill to allow abortion in cases of rape and incest. While that initiative ultimately cost Brown her seat, Missouri Rep. DeVerne Calloway was elected in 1962, also co-sponsored a failed abortion reform but held office until 1982. Georgia’s Rep. Grace Towns Hamilton also pushed measures to legalize abortions in the first trimester in 1970 and 1971….”
Abortion battle rages 40 years after Roe decision – Cheryl Wetzstein at The Washington Times
Another great historical piece, including a focus on advocacy groups on both sides of the debate.
“…Abortion wars are under way in court and state legislatures over the “Obamacare” health care reform, and record numbers of abortion-regulating measures have been enacted at the state level in the past two years.
Abortion advocacy is also well-developed. In recognition of Roe’s 40th anniversary, the pro-choice Advocates for Youth organization is championing the finding that about 30 percent of American women will have an abortion by age 45. It launched the “1 in 3” book and a campaign to tell women’s stories about their abortions.
In contrast, the Silent No More Awareness Campaign is continuing its efforts to help women talk about the regrets they feel over their abortions, while Feminists for Life tells young women that they “deserve better than abortion.”…”
Happy Anniversary Roe v. Wade! Here Are the States Competing to Ban Legal Abortion First – Amanda Marcotte at Slate
An important listing and description of what is going on in certain states, and a reminder that the battle for women’s right to choose is never over.
“…It’s difficult to predict what will happen to the women served by these threatened clinics if they disappear. For people with the means to travel—such as the legislators who pass these laws and their family members—it’s [sic] can be just a matter of going to a state with easier access and more liberal abortion laws to get the procedure. For women living in poverty, however, the options are often either illegal, unsafe abortions (often procured through the Internet) or being forced to give birth against their will. And despite anti-choice reassurances that it will all work out in the end, the research shows that women who want abortions and can’t get them often find that their worst fears come true. …”
40 Photographers, 40 Faces, 40 Years of Choice – The Denver Egotist
“…Jeff, now Creative Director at gmmb in Washington, D.C. (the agency that handled the 2012 Obama campaign), came up with the idea of having 40 photographers shoot 40 portraits of women as a timelapse video. The campaign, called Choice Out Loud, is in support of an initiative to inspire young people on the issue of choice. Birnbach was the only photographer from Colorado selected to be involved.
Given the direction to bring ethnicity to the project, Allen reached out to local model agencies for talent. Yosselin Marquez from Nxt|Model was chosen and wardrobe was provided by Cry Baby Ranch in Larimer Square. Kari Kisch helped with hair and makeup. The result was a six second timelapse video that was then incorporated into a larger video with the work of the other photographers. To learn more about how the piece was produced, check out Allen’s blog….”
Abortion is a Medical Procedure – Lizz Winstead at Huffington Post
“…Like in the case of “The future of the mother,” or “The age of the mother,” or “The financial situation of the mother.” In other words, in the case of the life of the mother. Whatever life she chooses to have that doesn’t involve being pregnant at that moment.
Oh, that one will bring on the haters.
And the know-it-alls.
And the no-nothings.
And everyone else who wants their abortion experience or perception of an abortion experience to define all abortion experiences.
I have had an abortion.
And guess what? Your abortion experience wasn’t mine….”
A New Generation of Abortion Activists: Shaping the Future – Julia Reticker-Flynn, Advocates for Youth at RH Reality Check
“…We wanted a new approach to activism on abortion issues that was pro-active and on our own terms. We wanted something that would make young activists visible, within the movement and beyond. We wanted to hear about the experiences of the people who had been a part of this movement for decades. We wanted to find a way to give voice to contemporary experiences with abortion. And we wanted to honor the complexity of people’s lives. Ultimately, we wanted a new conversation—one that didn’t focus on the politicized debate around abortion, but focused on people.
Our answer was the 1 in 3 Campaign.
Storytelling has always been a powerful tool for social change. In fact, young activists in a variety of movements were already sharing their personal stories as a large scale organizing strategy. From Dreamers working on immigration issues, to survivors of sexual assault, to LGBT activists fighting for equality, young people were speaking their truths and sharing their lived experiences as a way of shifting how the public understands often polarizing social issues. By sharing their stories, these young people were creating spaces where we as a society could think about issues in terms of people’s realities and not political debates…”
And, the awesome, 4000 years of choice – check out the way cool stuff she has going on right now over here…