As a woman with privilege who has depended on the law, I am grateful for Roe. As a queer, Indo-Caribbean from an immigrant family in the Bronx, I remember that laws often require less than justice does.
Struggling clinics. Generational divides within the movement. Fluctuating poll numbers. Controversy over the pro-choice label. As a recent post by Tracy Weitz reminds us on the latter count, these are not new stories. But let me challenge the idea that we are losing.
Abortion or no abortion is a choice, but that is not the choice of the United States government, that is not the choice of men. It is the choice of that soul housed in that vessel that is the body.
People should be given the chance to make the decision whether to parent without judgment or stigma. Abortion is (or should be) an option. Women should not feel ashamed for doing what is best for them.
I grew up in a conservative area and had internalized some challenging attitudes about abortion, poverty, and the death penalty—attitudes aligned with policy that worked against my (and my family’s) interests. Still, I discovered that I was ready to drop everything for a friend who needed my help. Eventually, I learned to hold this level of compassion for complete strangers, too.
There are reproductive rights and justice advocates who are having abortion conversations that do not involve scare tactics. They are having these conversations on their campuses, in their homes, and in their communities, and they are doing it the right way.
Every year when the anniversary of Roe v. Wade rolls around, I am troubled by the loud silences in our triumphant tales of struggle. As a history doctoral student who researches African Americans and abortion, the story I tell is quite different.
The words “pro life” have been pitted against “pro choice,” as if they are opposites. In my experience it’s a false dichotomy, and while politically difficult and messy, our truths are much more complicated.
40. Significant also for the landmark Roe v. Wade decision 40 years ago that made it legal for women to obtain an abortion. I wonder, what is next for Roe v. Wade?
After 40 years, isn’t it time that our policies reflect real women and real families?