Today is a very important day in the history of women’s reproductive rights, ladies, so let’s sit back and pay attention.
It was 40 years ago that the United States Supreme Court’s decision on Roe v. Wade went in the favor of giving women the right to an abortion – at least one within the first trimester. It was a landmark decision and the first step in eliminating the “back alley” abortions that pregnant women were forced to get due to an archaic law that didn’t allow them the right to make choices for their own body.
From that day forward, abortion became a woman’s constitutional right, and a debate that would always be at the forefront of every political and religious forum. It’s an argument that can rarely be won, and as we saw in this past election it was, once again, a hot topic that had Republicans and Democrats divided. When it came to social issues — especially that of abortion and gay rights — each side angrily stood staunchly in place shaking their finger at their opponent. Mitt Romney declared that if he were to be elected he would try to overturn Roe v. Wade. It was terrifying. But what Mitt didn’t realize was that to do so would be putting us into the dark ages and, just like denying gays the right to marry, setting our society and country back decades after we had come so far.
Although the fear remains that one day there will be a president who will get into office and do everything within his or her power to overturn or, at least amend the 1973 decision, we can take solace in the fact that, for the first time ever, the majority of Americans want abortion to be legal. (Somewhere Todd Akin is crying about this fact.)
You’re shocked, aren’t you? Based on what I saw during this past presidential campaign and even yesterday with Sir Crazy Bear, I was delighted to see this news, too.
The Wall Street Journal and NBC conducted a poll to see exactly how Americans felt about abortion, right now, in 2013. They found that a measly 24% would like to see Roe v. Wade overturned, with 21% of them feeling “strongly about this position;” the other 70% felt abortion should be legal, and 57% of that crowd feeling “strongly” on the matter. Granted this poll was conducted of 1000 men and women just this past week and for all we know they could be true-blue Democrats, but it’s still a promising number.
It was just in 2009 that a Gallup poll found that only 37% of Americans believed that abortion should be legal. That same year a Pew Research Center poll showed 46%, still the minority but looking a wee bit better, wanted to keep abortion legal.
While all these facts and figures may give us a momentary sigh of relief, the fact is that as long as those who cannot fathom that a woman should be in control of her own body exist in the world, our freedom over our reproductive organs will always be at stake.
So, on this anniversary of Roe v. Wade, let’s all take a moment to relish in our human right that the US Supreme Court was so kind enough to grant us. Let’s remember how the fight isn’t over, and how both education and access to birth control are essential in preventing women from having to make the choice to have (or not have) an abortion. Let’s think of the women who died at the hand of unsanitary places and unqualified “doctors” due to laws that should have never existed in the first place. Let’s be grateful for the here and now, and promise ourselves we’ll never allow anyone to take this right away from us again. We will never go back.
Can we all do that? Great. Thanks.