40 Years

tumblr_mfcebx5pQ01qhochro1_400You’re likely aware–if not, you should be–that it’s the 40th Anniversary of Roe v Wade. You’re likely aware–again, if not, you should be–that reproductive autonomy (that is, the ability to control one’s fertility) is (the single most) an important factor in a woman’s financial security. You’re likely aware–and you really should be–that many states are trying to ban altogether legal abortions. But that’s not the reason the abortion rate is falling; improved contraceptive methods are.

You should know that these abortion providers, in the U.S. land of the free, risk their lives for women who seek abortions. You should know about the struggle against violence to re-open the clinic of Dr. Tiller, who was murdered by people who think women should not have the right to reproductive autonomy.

Where abortion is legal and where contraception is readily available and sex education is comprehensive, abortion rates are quite low, regardless of rates of sexual activity. But it’s cumulative–remove one of the factors, such as comprehensive sex education–and your unplanned, unwanted pregnancy rates rise, and so does your need for abortion.

You should know that all these years of assuming it was forward progress from the moment the Supreme Court decided that the ultimate arbiter over a woman’s womb was the woman herself was a mistaken assumption.

We must stop marginalizing women. We must stop denying them dominion over their own bodies. We must educate girls and boys about sex, contraception, and making good decisions. We must provide adequate health care that includes contraception choices.

We must never stop fighting for reproductive autonomy.

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