personal, as they say, is political. And there’s nothing more
personal than the right to control your own body.
as a human with reproductive organs, the leaked draft of a Supreme
Court opinion overruling Roe
v. Wade — and the constitutional right to
abortion — is obviously personal to me. But it’s personal
for another reason, too.
come from a line of pro-choice advocates. My late grandmother, Eileen
Alperstein, was on the board of a Planned Parenthood chapter. She
fought to get an ad placed in The
New York Times to shine a light on the issue, well
Wade was settled.
marched, too. At one of her last demonstrations before she passed
away from breast cancer, she joined my mom and me — a toddler
in a stroller — as our family marched on Washington to support
the right to choose.
proud to descend from brave people like these, who demanded
reproductive freedom before
women even had the right to open credit cards in their own name.
Their hard work led to Roe,
which Americans support upholding today by
a 2 to 1 margin.
thanks to an extremist minority, our right to bodily autonomy is on
the verge of being dismantled. The results will be devastating.
if you don’t know it, you probably know someone who’s had
an abortion. One
in four women in this country have ended a pregnancy,
whether because it was life-threatening, nonviable, unaffordable, or
they simply didn’t want it.
likely to ban or restrict abortion once Roe
overturned. Each one could be more extreme than the last. Even now, a
offers a $10,000 bounty to anyone who reports someone they suspect
has helped facilitate an abortion after six weeks.
Handmaid’s Tale — we’re at risk
of going full Crucible:
“I saw Goody Proctor at the clinic. Burn the witch!”
doesn’t just protect people seeking
abortions. The rationale underpinning that ruling protects all of us
from government interference in the most intimate areas of our lives:
who we love, who we marry, and how and whether we choose to raise a
the right to take birth control — something
relied on by millions of people of child bearing age,
including me — could also become
a thing of the past.
So could the right to love or marry someone of the same gender, or a
different race. All of these deeply personal decisions could end up
falling under the purview of politicians.
how can we protect the right to choose?
hope is that Congress will step up. For decades, champions like Rep.
Barbara Lee (D-CA) have fought for legislation like the Women’s
Health Protection Act, which codifies the right to choose and expands
access to affordable reproductive healthcare for all Americans.
that, Americans in individual states will need to fight hard to pass
state-level legislation that protects the right to choose and so much
mother and grandmother were born into a world where dangerous back
alley abortions were a reality for millions. Institutions like
Planned Parenthood existed alongside hidden networks like the Jane
Collective, which secretly assisted with access to abortion services.
wasn’t so long ago. I’ve been in marches where I carried
signs with the same exact slogans that my mother, her sisters, and my
late grandmother carried. I’ve fought for the same rights and
protections that they did. And I’m furious that their victories
are under dire threat.
like millions in our movement, I’ve been anticipating this
moment. I’m going to fight like hell.
this time, it’s personal.