Friday, January 22, 2010

January 22, 1973

Today is the 37th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court case that legalized abortion for women in the US.

I received an email today from Cecile Richards, via Planned Parenthood's mailing list. In her message, she mentioned that "...this anniversary is always tinged with gratitude and immense responsibility." I feel the same way.

During the 2008 presidential election, I was freaking out over the prospect of John McCain winning for many reasons, one of which was the fear that Roe vs. Wade might be put into greater danger than it was (is?) in already. A friend of mine told me to chill out because, as she put it, "abortion's not going anywhere."

And she was right: it's not going anywhere, which is why I'd prefer that it remain a safe, legal procedure for those who seek it out.

I'm grateful for the progress we've made: when Obama was elected, he overturned the global gag rule and cut funding for abstinence-only sex "education" programs.

But we can't take this freedom for granted; I certainly don't, even though I (like many women I know) am too young to remember a time when abortion was illegal in the US. And that's where my huge sense of responsibility comes in. This is still relevant: the recent death of Dr. Tiller and the Stupak Amendment both serve as proof of that.

So today I'm celebrating Roe while reminding myself (and anyone who might read this) that the fight isn't over, even 37 years later, and if we take what we have for granted, we might lose it.

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