Saturday, January 22, 2005

Long Live Roe v. Wade, 32-Years-Old Today

Today is the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, and so we're going for a history lesson for those folks who remain unconvinced, unconcerned, apathetic, or otherwise. (Thanks to Feministe for the link.)

WARNING: Some of the descriptions of the horrors women suffer in a society which attacks their fundamental human right to physical integrity and well-being are graphic.

The Well-Timed Period: A History Lesson

As I noted in the Comments at The Well-Timed Period blog, THE RIGHT TO PHYSICAL INTEGRITY IS A FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLE OF HUMAN RIGHTS! Just as prisoners should not be forced into naked human pyramids or have electrodes placed on their genitals, women should not be forced to defer decisions about their bodies and their personal health to others. One has a fundamental human right to the safety and integrity of one's own body. This is Humanity 101. Forcing women to carry pregnancies to term and incur all the potential costs -- personal health, impact on personal and societal economies, psychological, and so on -- is an assault on women's lives, and thus, on children's lives. Meaningful choice about matters of reproduction (education, access to birth control, access to safe and legal abortion and reproductive health care) is the only thing that has ever benefitted both women and society on this point. I've said more on all this here.

And can we please some day have a conversation about how it is pro-choicers who "think about the children" by making every child a wanted child, and supporting early childhood education, lunch programs, after-school care, affordable health care, literacy, job training, prison rehabilitation, etc., etc.

That said, the time for idly keeping an eye turned to the carping harpies on the "other side" has come to an end. They've got delusional allies in high places now, and it's imperative we make our voices heard. Let's live our politics. Let's be mindful that suffering can end, that its underpinnings are in our control, that we can up-end those systems and create new ones. We have to take concrete steps every day to create a just society. It will not materialize of its own accord. The links below are just a few examples of the amazing good being done in the world.

NARAL Pro-Choice America
Planned Parenthood
IPAS
United Nations Population Fund
Center for Gender and Health Equity
Family Health International
Human Rights Watch Women's Desk