Roe Under Attack, Now More Than Ever
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This blog was originally published on 1/22/08
Today is the 35th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. And that means it's also Blog For Choice Day.
This year's theme is about politics: why is it important to vote pro-choice? I looked at this question for a while and felt stumped. I vote for candidates who support reproductive health for the same reason that I vote for any issue: because I believe in it. That's clear enough. But more specifically, we need to vote pro-choice because simply being pro-choice is not enough.
Those of us who have been paying attention know perfectly well that Roe is under attack. And 2007 was a particularly interesting year. The Roberts-led Supreme Court upheld the "partial-birth abortion" ban that has no exception for a woman's health, despite its direct conflict with Roe. States have been tripping over themselves to pass "trigger laws" that would outlaw abortion immediately if Roe was overturned. State legislators have also been proposing an endless amount of misogynist bills that would restrict the right to an abortion: all out bans, "informed consent" laws that lie to women, laws requiring forced, medically unnecessary renovations to abortion clinics, laws requiring that women get permission from their fetus' fathers before having an abortion, and laws granting legal rights to fetuses, or even to fertilized eggs.
Not all of the legislation, thank god, has been passed. Too much of it has. And some we're still waiting on.
We've also faced attempts to shut down clinics, direct harassment doctors who perform abortions and outrageous abuse of the legal system. All of these attacks were politically motivated. And our elected officials were either a part of the problem or part of the solution.
We've also got the long-standing battles. There's the Hyde Amendment, which basically rendered the Roe decision irrelevant for millions of low-income women. Internationally, we've got the Global Gag Rule to contend with. And though Congress has recently tried to repeal all or parts of this unjust law that has killed innumerable women overseas, it was a fruitless endeavor. Because we have an anti-choice president.