Roe: January 22, 2018

Dear Mr. VP,

Today is the 45th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion. Last year, I sent you an anniversary card.

I had every intention of doing that again, and then I woke up with…norovirus? Some sort of stomach thing? How appropriate that on this day of deep disappointment with so many Democrats, I spent my day violently vomiting. It’s interesting when your bodily state lines up with your political feelings.

Anyway, 45 years ago, the Supreme Court said people have the right to terminate a pregnancy, and you & others have spent every day since then trying to eat away slowly at that guarantee. Parental consent laws, clinic regulations, ultrasound requirements, federal laws preventing monies from being used for abortions, fetal personhood laws…on and on.

Luckily, though, Roe v. Wade has stood. That doesn’t mean it is possible for all people to access the abortion procedures they need. The procedure can be unaffordable, the nearest clinic might be too far away, a minor might be unable to ask a parent for consent. Guaranteeing access is something we all need to work towards. To echo a bumper sticker I used to have on a laptop: abortion on demand and without apology.

That’s why, to celebrate this anniversary and in lieu of the card I couldn’t get you, I made a donation in your name to the Abortion Rights Fund of Western Massachusetts, which provides funds to those who want an abortion but cannot afford the procedure.

In places where abortion was illegal 45 years ago – and in places today and for people to whom it is not accessible – there are drastic measures taken. People self induce: with medication, with poison, by throwing themselves down stairs, by inserting unsanitary objects into their own uterus. These people could instead be having a medical procedure that is safer than a tonsillectomy. Talk to me about what’s so pro-life about forcing them into other, more dangerous options?

So, happy anniversary Roe. May we all continue to work to make the promise of safe and legal abortion available to all.


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