With yesterday marking the 34th Anniversary of this landmark case, I was looking for a way to discuss it that felt right. Because it is still such a controversial issue for so many, I feel that dialogue about the subject must also be carefully tempered.
I am grateful for the right to be left in charge of my own body by my own government. I believe it's an issue that each woman has the right to decide on her own, period.
Many times when I struggle to find the right words to express my feelings, I turn to others. This time is no different. This was written today by LLP contributor, Mensch71. It is republished in it's entirety with her permission.
34Growing up in the Casa de Mensch, I regularly embarrassed (and now grateful) for the frankness with which MommyMensch discussed sex, drugs and alcohol. By the time I'd reached puberty, not only did I know the proper names for most everything, I knew how things worked. Mom was absolutely determined that HER daughter would not find out about reproduction from a book or a health class. She dispelled every sex myth ("you can't get pregnant if you do it in a swimming pool!") and made sure that I knew the consequences of drinking while doing anything, including breathing.
As I got older, I became the Sex Guru among my friends, simply because my Mom made sure that I was informed. It's not that I had much personal experience, but I was prepared. When I leapt into the fray, I was smart and safe.
At some point during high school (or maybe a little earlier), Mom told me about a college acquaintance of hers who found herself in the family way. Now, this was the 1960s when unmarried and pregnant were Just. Not. Done. Her options were to drop out of college and to drop out of college. I don't remember all of the details here, but what I do recall is that this desperate woman had a "coat hanger abortion".
She died because she had no choices. Yesterday was the 34th anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision. On January 21, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a ruling that upheld a woman's right to make choices about her own reproductive health.
Contrary to some opinions, Roe v. Wade doesn't encourage abortions, it simply provides woman with the right to have one. For nearly my entire life, this right (along with the right to vote, drive and serve in the military) has been part of my world. I can't imagine a time where it wasn't ok for me to be the master of my own ship, the captain of my own destiny.
That said, there are many who would like to see a world where reproductive health choices are the purview of the church and there are others who believe that women shouldn't have the vote or be allowed to own property or be the CEO of a company. As absurd as that sounds today, remember that only decades ago... this was the case. So be grateful for the rights that we have today and work to protect those that others would take from us.