Welcome! Login | Register
 

Pats Escape New York With 17-16 Win—Patriots Win in New York, Clinch first round…

Sky Chiefs Bounce Back, Roll Spirit 119-109—Sky Chiefs bounce back with 119-109 win over…

25 Great Last Minute Local Gifts in RI—Still haven’t finished your Christmas shopping? Check out…

NEW: RWU Moving into Former 38 Studios Offices in Providence—Roger Williams University has agreed to a 12-year…

Guest MINDSETTER™ Justin Katz: Edwards Dances Around the Fact That I’m Right—It’s tempting to go line by line through…

Friars Top UMass 85-65 in Saturday Matinee at The Dunk—Friars beat UMass 85-65 at Dunkin Donuts Center

Sky Chiefs to Host Holiday Hoops Clinic at Providence Country Day—Sky Chiefs to host hoops clinic at Providence…

Second Half Defensive Lockdown Leads Rams Past Detroit 69-55—Rams shut down Detroit in second half, win…

Americans Identifying Race Relations as a Top Issue Sharply Rises According to Gallup Poll—Gallup released results from a new poll on…

NEW: Mayor-Elect Elorza Retains Public Safety Commissioner and Chief of Police—Elorza today announced his decision to retain Public…

 
 

Guest MINDSETTER™ Paula Hodges: When Choice isn’t Enough

Saturday, January 19, 2013

 

Forty years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed that the constitutionally protected right to privacy includes every woman's right to make her own personal medical decisions, without the interference of politicians – including the right to end a pregnancy. As we approach this milestone, there’s been debate as to whether or not the reproductive justice movement and organizations like Planned Parenthood are connecting with post-Roe generations. Speaking as a “Millennial” myself, I can say that young women do value the impact of Roe. But politicians and traditional powers don’t see the world in the way we do. As someone who’s chosen a career in social justice and who spends a lot of time with other young activists, there’s hope we can right this ship as our generation takes the helm.

Planned Parenthood recognizes that the abortion conversation in America has evolved. As a nation and as a movement, our language has shifted. It’s time we started looking beyond the tired binary labels of “pro-choice” and “pro-life.” In fact, the number of people who say abortion should remain safe and legal is significantly higher than the number of people who readily identify as “pro-choice.” Our language must reflect the change in the way we think, talk and organize around abortion rights. Simply put – “Choice” as a framework just isn’t enough anymore.

Last November voters strongly affirmed that politicians should not be involved in a woman’s personal medical decisions about her pregnancy. From Smith Hill to Capitol Hill, Planned Parenthood will continue to protect access to health care for women — taking action to ensure that women have access to care, no matter what. Forty years after Roe, Planned Parenthood’s mission remains the same: to protect the fundamental right of all individuals to manage their own fertility and sexual health and to ensure access to the services, education and information to realize that right. 

Sadly, Rhode Island lags behind our New England neighbors when it comes to teen pregnancy rates. An investment in preventive services saves public dollars: one dollar spent on family planning saves the state $3.75. Yet we’re forced to waste time fighting unnecessary, shaming legislation like mandatory-waiting periods and ultrasounds. We need a legislature that understands that investing in prevention and comprehensive sex education is the only proven way to address unintended pregnancy. 

Millions of young people today are, like me, paying off student loans, renting and not buying, entering the workforce during a recession and experiencing high unemployment. Reproductive rights and access to affordable contraception are economic justice issues. The annual cost of birth control prior to the Affordable Care Act was $600—a cost born almost entirely by women. 

As I look at the work we need to do in the next 40 years – it’s time for our language and our policy work to reflect the real conversation. Simply changing labels and adopting new messages isn’t enough. We must work as a movement to ensure that the right to manage our own fertility and sexual health is seen holistically: that we take into account all of the factors – legal, economic and otherwise - that prevent women from having affordable coverage for contraceptives, cancer detection and care, infertility treatments and yes, abortion. 

As we forge ahead, my hope for 2053 is that old labels and endless fights will become what they should be: history.

Paula Hodges is the Public Policy & Advocacy Director for Planned Parenthood Southern New England and Planned Parenthood Votes! Rhode Island.

 

Related Articles

 

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

 
 
:)