Editorial: Abortion rights triumphed from coast to coast
A look back at five victories for women
A victory for women means many things to many people. To some, it means the right to access safe and legal abortion in this country. To others, it could mean the right to have one’s abortion conducted in a hospital in which a doctor can see her or her fetus. And to yet others it could mean the right to be free from an attack by a man such as was made against Dr. George Tiller when he was shot and killed two weeks ago.
To others it also could mean an end to the practice of dismembering the bodies of the unborn in the name of “science.” To others, it could mean that the use of anti-abortion drugs should be made illegal. To others, it could mean that medical professionals should be allowed to continue to perform elective abortions in cases where the pregnancy is not considered to be viable. To yet others, it could mean that women should be allowed to breast-feed their children.
But what really matters are the actions taken in the past. Five decades ago, this country was still dealing with the shock of Roe vs. Wade, which in 1973 ended laws and practices prohibiting state and local governments from making abortion illegal. It wasn’t until the late 1970s that Planned Parenthood was born (as part of a series of organizations that were trying to bring women’s rights and reproductive rights back into the public arena). The landmark Supreme Court decision in Roe vs. Wade was made by Justice Scalia. Many, including me, believe that Dr. Tiller was killed in the service of abortion rights and reproductive rights.
I think this country is finally ready to see what Roe vs. Wade stands for:
1. The right to control what happens at the most intimate and personal moment in your life.
2. The right to make a decision for yourself regardless of what a government or anyone else might say.
3. The right to make a decision about whether another person’s life