[link] Roe v Wade at 40: what American women owe to abortion rights
#2 from the Guardian:
The landmark US supreme court case Roe v Wade turns 40 this week, marking four decades of abortion rights for American women. In those 40 years, the US and most of the western world have seen remarkable social upheavals, including incredible progress for women. Yet, abortion remains ragingly controversial in America and illegal around much of the world.
Even with “Roe” on the books, the promise of bodily autonomy remains out of reach for many women. And the central opposition to abortion rights isn’t about saving babies, promoting family or protecting women; it’s about controlling female sexuality and trying to return to a time when women were forced or coerced into subservience.
To anyone who has taken even a cursory look at reproductive rights activism, it’s obvious that decreasing the abortion rate isn’t nearly as much a concern for the pro-life movement as controlling women is. We know what leads to a low abortion rate: comprehensive sex education, affordable and available contraception, rights for women, and a progressive sexual culture. The countries with the lowest abortion rates in the world have that mix – plus legal (and often state-funded) abortion.
Outlawing abortion doesn’t lead to a lower abortion rate, and some of the countries with the highest abortion rates on the planet are places where it’s illegal. So if outlawing abortion doesn’t mean fewer abortions, what purpose does it serve? Punishing women and making their lives miserable, apparently – illegal abortion doesn’t mean fewer abortions, it means more dangerous procedures and higher maternal mortality rates. Thirteen per cent of maternal deaths around the world result from unsafe illegal abortions.
Despite knowing the key to a lower abortion rate, the so-called “pro-life” movement refuses to use it. Instead, they feign concern for babies while doing absolutely nothing to help children and everything in their power to make women’s lives harder and more dangerous if those women dare to believe that they’re entitled to a fulfilling sex life.
[More here: commentisfree]
Featured image on post: Anti-abortion protesters gather in Washington, DC, on 22 January 1974, for the first anniversary of the US supreme court decision in Roe v Wade that lifted legal restraints on abortion. Photograph: AP.
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- Why Republicans should stop talking about Roe v. Wade (washingtonpost.com)
- Roe v Wade at 40 (dailyqueernews.wordpress.com)
- Roe v. Wade at 40: Six questions about the state of abortion rights today (csmonitor.com)
- On 40th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade, New Poll Shows that Majority of Americans Want Abortion to Be Legal, but States Attempt to Nullify (polistew.com)
- Roe V. Wade At 40: More Americans Than Ever Want Abortion Legal (alan.com)
- CHARTS: How Roe v. Wade changed abortion rights (washingtonpost.com)
- #WeAre40: Roe v. Wade turns 40 – January 22, 1973 (lifestyle30.wordpress.com)