Ruminating on Roe, 42 Years Later

I always get a little emotional today, the 42nd anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision, Roe v. Wade, which gave women the constitutional right to have an abortion under the 14th Amendment’s right to privacy.

It gives me great pride that our nation’s highest Court understood the importance of giving women the power to make healthcare decisions and control our reproductive future. This is essential for countless reasons, but is especially enlightening when we consider that no one is trying to tell men what to do. Not with their lives, their bodies- nothing. Since Roe, innumerable challenges to Roe’s constitutionality have been proposed or passed in state legislatures nationwide, impeding women from accessing healthcare and safe and legal abortion services. One can only postulate that a persistent commitment to treat the female body as public property means that anti-choice politicians and authorities have a stake in women exercising their biological functions by force instead of choice. Simply put: we are not a threat to men if we are merely viewed as vessels.

Today, Congress was scheduled to vote on a 20-week abortion ban. GOP women revolted and instead, Congress will now vote on blocking federal dollars from funding abortions. The importance of this date and the actions in which they occur do not meet by coincidence. Roe’s anniversary shares the same date as the March for Life, an annual anti-choice protest held in Washington, DC. It is no mistake that a Republican Congress chose to bring anti-choice bills to the floor today. It is a diabolical show of solidary to the anti-choice movement that confounds insult to injury for pro-choice activists and supporters, including the countless women who have either had or need abortions.

One in three women will have an abortion in her lifetime. I have never had an abortion. I don’t know if I ever will need one. This is exactly the point. We never know if we will be that one in three. Either way, it is crucial we are able to decide.


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