Day 2 – Roe vs Wade – Legal Barriers and Battles – by fml and servalbear

Every woman under the age of 39 has grown up with the right to access birth control and abortion. It is easy to believe that since it has been true for 39 years, it will always be true.
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The day Roe vs Wade was decided, some people worried the decision did not cover enough.
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Decision January 22, 1973

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  • Less than a month after the Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade in 1973, The Nation published an article supporting the decision. “Jane Roe” of Texas and “Mary Doe” of Georgia wanted abortions, but their states forbade them, and the women decided to challenge the illegality of the procedure. “They, and the seven Justices who voted in their favor, have performed a service of incalculable importance for American womanhood,” wrote The Nation’s editors. Still, the editors were wary of decision’s aftermath. “The Supreme Court decision does not go all the way,” they wrote. “There will be renewed efforts to circumvent it.” Read more here
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These concerns proved prophetic. Every year since 1973, legislation has been introduced to chip away at the right to access abortion.
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Some of these laws are called TRAP ~ Targeted Regulations against Abortion Providers.  These may include the height of a sink or the width of a doorway in a clinic.  They are not medically necessary and are not applied to other types of clinics.
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At the EMW clinic, these regulations make it nearly impossible for the clinic to change locations ~ which would also allow us to have a private parking lot with direct access to the clinic.  But trying to meet the TRAP regulations would be too costly and would increase the risk of getting shut down completely.
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In Virginia, they have drafted new legislation that could cause some clinics there to close.  {Read more on TRAP in Virginia here.}   Pennsylvania and Maryland face similar challenges.
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The war on women’s rights, especially concerning abortion, birth control and even sex education, took on an aggressive aspect in 2011.  Bill after bill was introduced seeking to place limits on abortion that would make it nearly impossible to actually get one.
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  •  In the 50 states combined, legislators introduced more than 1,100 reproductive health and rights-related provisions, a sharp increase from the 950 introduced in 2010. By year’s end, 135 of these provisions had been enacted in 36 states, an increase from the 89 enacted in 2010 and the 77 enacted in 2009. (Summaries by state included in this Reality Check article.) 
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The legislative aggression has already started in 2012.
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  • Anti-choice activists always say “punish the doctor, not the mother.”  For Florida Rep. Charles Van Zant, that punishment for the physician would be life in prison
  • Twenty-five Kansas House members have agreed to sponsor a proposed “personhood” amendment to the state constitution to ban abortion and are close to introducing it… 
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Keep in mind that personhood laws would also eliminate some forms of birth control.  While people can be against abortion and in favor of birth control, the official Catholic stance considers birth control equal to abortion.
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The World Can’t Wait states some of our concerns in their call for people to join with them in Washington, DC on January 22 and 23.
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  • Stand up for Abortion and Birth Control
  • 39 years after women won the right to abortion, this fundamental right is hanging by a thread.

    • Nearly 90% of U.S. counties have no abortion provider.
    • 2011 saw the greatest number of restrictions passed at the state level – parental notification laws, mandatory waiting periods, gestational bans, etc. – restricting this access even further.
    • Doctors who provide abortions are hunted, terrorized and killed.
    • And the stigma and shame cast on women who get abortions is greater than ever 

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As pro-access activists, we need to stay vigilant about pending legislation to limit the rights of women.  People often say that women’s rights are the first to be sacrificed by politicians. The legislative measures that have passed in 2011 clearly reflect that.

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The new campaign for Operation Save America in 2012 is a plan to leave entire states without an abortion provider.
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  • Operation Save America is embarking on a new national campaign called States of Refuge, Operation: First Abortion Free State.  Currently, there are five states (Arkansas, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming) with one remaining abortion mill within their boundaries.  Our purpose is to bring churches and pro-life ministries to each state and allow God to give us the first abortion-free state in America. (web link omitted purposely)

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Why are we continuing to fight the same fights 39 years after abortion was ruled legal? The simple answer is politicians encouraging evangelistic citizens to garner their votes.

Abortion Support in Kentucky is celebrating Roe vs Wade with their donation drive towards efforts to make abortion and reproductive healthcare more accessible in Kentucky. Please visit their website and contribute whatever you can.

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2 thoughts on “Day 2 – Roe vs Wade – Legal Barriers and Battles – by fml and servalbear

  1. To me, at age 34, imagining a world where abortion was forbidden seems as strange and distant as segregation, or the suffrage movement. And I think it’s hard to get motivated to take any action, because in the back of my mind, I’m thinking that surely, no one would ever consider doing something as completely backward and ridiculous as making it illegal again. It seems about as likely as reinstating segregation or taking away women’s right to vote. I think we need to be reminded by posts like this that there really is still a threat, and not to take access to reproductive care for granted.

    • You’re right – it seems like that even to me, I can’t imagine it happening, and then I read another article about another bill and it freaks me out. Particularly when I realize that birth control is going to end up in the mix – what are they thinking????

      I’m glad our articles are helping raise awareness. Thanks for reading, Kelly, and for commenting.

      fml

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