Today is the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, a landmark Supreme Court decision in which they voted 7-2 to protect a woman’s right to abortion. During the last four decades, conservatives have chipped away at this fundamental right, placing numerous obstacles for those seeking an abortion. Indeed, today’s Roe v. Wade is hardly recognizable from its original form. There are many news articles full of information and charts bringing attention to this dilemma (see links below). Rather than bemoan these grave restrictions again, instead I will focus on the growing support for the freedom to choose.
For the first time EVER, a majority of Americans believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases. This profound finding is from a NBC/ Wall Street Journal poll that showed 54% of adults support legal abortion. Respondents also strongly oppose (70%) Roe v. Wade from being overturned. These changing poll numbers were partly shaped by the rhetoric on reproductive rights over the past year, says Republican pollster Bill McInturff. Well, I’m glad something good came out of all that crazy talk from conservatives.
Millennials are overwhelmingly pro-choice, a whopping 61%. Yet, many young Americans don’t identify as pro-choice or pro-life, but most believe abortion is a woman’s personal decision that should not involve the government. Contrary to the media, our generation does care about abortion and is actively advocating for reproductive justice.
In an effort to highlight Millennials’ voices, NARAL Pro-Choice America has launched a campaign, Choice Out Loud. It is a Millennial-led effort that features the stories of young people and helps to amplify the conversation that our generation is having about choice. As part of this, they have created 40, a photography and film project that celebrates women who protect a person’s right to abortion. It highlights forty female Millennials across the country representing a cross section of religion, race and economic status. Be sure to check it out at a college campus near you.
I am proud to say that I am a Millennial and I am pro-choice. I believe the decision around abortion is complicated, but one that is personal. And I am so happy to say the majority of Americans feel the same way. Now, it’s time to make abortion more accessible by removing all the obstacles and restrictions that lie between a person and their choice. To quote the Chicago Abortion Fund, “there is no right without access; no access without justice; no justice without change.” On this 40th anniversary, show your support for accessible abortion and repealing the bans on abortion coverage.Further Reading Happy Birthday to Roe v. Wade – What’s Left of It [Mother Jones] CHART: 40 Years Later, Roe v. Wade is Still Under Siege [The Week] CHARTS: How Roe v. Wade Changed Abortion Rights [The Washington Post] This is Forty: The Anniversary of Roe V. Wade [New Yorker] Inaugurating Roe: Remove Restrictions on Abortion Coverage [Huffington Post]