Saturday, February 11, 2012

Roe v. Wade: 39 Years Later-“Who Decides?”

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 24:  Anti-abortion an...Image by Getty Images via @daylife

It’s amazing to think that 39 years after the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade, my daughters face more obstacles in exercising their right to choose than I did a generation ago. When it comes to the question of “Who decided?” a terrifying number of politicians still think the answer is them-not women.

Every woman knows the deep and fundamental importance of freedom of choice and the right to privacy.  Personal and private childbearing decisions belong to a woman and whomever she chooses to consult-her family, her doctor, her faith.  No one else should interfere, especially not politicians.  It’s her body, her life, her choice. But a frightful number of those in power refuse to respect this right.

Since the beginning of the 112th Congress last January, the anti-choice majority of the U. S. House of Representatives has unleashed a torrent of frightening legislation...including an all-out war on contraception, abortion, and so much more that is important to women’s health.   They tried to eliminate funding for birth control and cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood clinics across the nation.  They’ve passed legislation that would allow hospitals to deny women emergency abortion care, even if she would die without it.  And they’ve passed legislation that could spur the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to audit rape and incest survivors who choose abortion care.
Over the last 15 years, states have enacted more than 600 anti-choice measures. Forty seven states and the District of Columbia allow certain individuals or health-care corporations to refuse to provide women specific reproductive-health services, information, or referrals.  In the past three decades, there have been eight abortion doctors and reproductive health-care workers murdered...17 attempted murders of providers and health-care workers...41 clinic bombings...175 cases of arson against clinics...and more than 400 death threats against physicians and clinic staff.  Eight seven percent (87%) of the counties in America have no abortion provider.  Even the new health-reform law includes bureaucratic red tape that could cause insurance carriers to stop covering abortion care altogether.

The coming elections in 2012, including the race for president, senators, congressional representatives, and state legislators warrant your full attention and participation.  We need to stop this political assault on women’s fundamental freedoms. Quite simply, it’s up to you and me to ensure that politicians stay out of women’s most personal, private decisions.  Make your answer to the question “who decides” heard across America, most importantly at the ballot box, but also in the polls and other feedback mechanisms available right now.
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