Updated: Nov 14, 2021
Today as I scrolled through all the photos from the more then 650 Women’s Marches for Reproductive Freedom I was inspired and sad and smiling and almost brought to tears. There were women and girls from the age of 9 to 89, women who had never marched for anything before, women who marched for their daughters and granddaughters, women who marched for the generations of women to come, women who marched for dear friends who had suffered back alley abortions and lived with the physical and emotional effects for life, but my favorite was a women who’s sign said, I can’t believe I have to March for reproductive healthcare in 2021. My first March was 45 years ago!
Imagine 45 years ago marching for the right and freedom of reproductive health care and here we are again! I marched in college and I have been a staunch believer in birth control and abortion since. The March organizers were motivated now to organize these rallies around the country as a response to the restrictive abortion law that went into effect in Texas in September. The law which bans nearly all abortions after 6 weeks of pregnancy, went into effect after the Supreme Court rejected a request by Texas’s abortion providers to block the law as legal challenges continued. When the Supreme Court rejected the emergency request they effectively took the next step in overturning Roe V Wade.
We are now witnessing the most direct threat to abortion access in our lifetime and we are anticipating with incredible fear and trepidation the case that will come before the court in December. The court will hear oral arguments that could be the most consequential abortion case in decades. The state of Mississippi is asking the justices to overturn long standing legal precedent that restrictions on abortion access before a fetus is viable outside the womb around 22 to 24 weeks are categorically unconstitutional. This case centers around the Jackson Women’s Health Organization which is the last remaining abortion clinic in the state. This is the biggest threat to American abortion rights in 50 years!
Yesterday Alexis McGill Johnson the President of Planned Parenthood said, we have seen nearly 600 restrictions in 47 states, so no matter where you live, no matter where you are the fight is at your doorstep! I couldn’t agree more and my ask is that this fight continue! Be vocal, stay committed and vote! Don’t only vote, but help women and men register to vote! Vote like your freedom depends on it! I leave you with a quote from NARAL …From the beginning, Roe was the floor, not the ceiling. We need to go beyond Roe to eliminate barriers to abortion care, including economic, racial and immigration injustices. That’s what true reproductive freedom entails!
Patti Kasanow: Author.