Another Year of “Roe” and Protecting Women’s RightsJanuary 23, 2012
Today is the 39th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, but it’s not a very happy birthday. Over the last year, we’ve seen unprecedented attempts to limit women’s control over their own bodies. States passed 83 laws restricting access to abortion, nearly four times as many as the 23 laws passed in 2010. Five states banned all abortions after 20 weeks of gestation; seven now require an ultrasound, or the offer of one, prior to the procedure; and eight will no longer allow private insurance plans to cover the procedure. Several states are fighting to bar abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood from receiving government funds even for the nonabortion services they provide, and the House of Representatives has voted to strip Planned Parenthood of all federal funding.
So the fight continues. AAUW has made the protection of full reproductive rights a policy principle since 1977 and strongly supports the right of every woman to safe, accessible, affordable, and comprehensive family planning and reproductive health services. Study after study has shown that women and their families do better when women are able to plan their pregnancies. For example, the expense of unintended pregnancy leads to economic insecurity for women and their families. Every woman has the ability to make her own informed choices regarding her reproductive life within the dictates of her own moral and religious beliefs, and no politician should insert herself or himself when it comes to this personal decision.
Make sure women’s priorities, including reproductive freedom, are addressed in the upcoming election by joining the AAUW Action Fund’s It’s My Vote: I Will Be Heard, a nationwide voter education and turnout campaign. Women wield great power in America, and our voices will be heard in 2012. More than ever before, women are registering to vote and casting ballots in greater numbers and with more consistency than men. We are a powerful and influential bloc of voters, and our support of women’s right to control their own bodies will be heard.
Join us in defending Roe and this critical right!