Why do this work? One answer is, because I love it. It’s not tasteful, these days, to admit taking joy in abortion. We’re supposed to regard it as a necessary evil at best, a minor tragedy. But there’s nothing I love more than being able to take the hand of a desperate woman and say to her, yes, I can help you. There’s nothing more rewarding to me than the palpable relief and thankfulness when I tell a woman that she’s no longer pregnant. With a five minute office procedure, I can help someone take back her life. I am incredibly excited and blessed to be able to do this work for women who would otherwise have no choice.
Boston, 1970: Bill Baird, an independent candidate for the Senate, said at a news conference that Massachusetts abortion and sex laws were “cruel and barbaric.” Women whom he had helped to get abortions related their experiences; they were hooded to prevent identification, since Massachusetts law provided a jail sentence for having an abortion .
I initially thought I would just provide abortions to women who really needed them. I realized soon that was a very naive way to think about this. All the women who showed up at the clinic, in some way, needed this. Who was I to be the arbiter?
Women need more access to reproductive services, and even “moderate” regulations punish poor women, rural women, and racial minorities. The Obama administration had the chance to make the situation better rather than worse—and it failed.
Reproductive rights are central to the economic equality of women. It’s not a vague relationship—it’s absolutely core to the ability of women to work, to plan, to control their lives. The assault on the availability of birth control, yearly exams, and yes, abortion, is a direct assault on poor women who rely on the free services Planned Parenthood provides. This is not a periphery issue to Occupy—unless women are periphery to Occupy. Banks are not the whole story, and it would be a huge mistake to allow yourself to be fooled into thinking they are.
- Commenter on Occupy Seattle Online Events
*People capable of getting pregnant. But yes, I definitely agree. We cannot ever achieve true economic equality without reproductive freedom. The two issues are complexly intertwined, they cannot be separated.