Posts Tagged: Roe v. Wade Results 8
In 1972, a year before the Roe v. Wade decision, Ms. Magazine ran its inaugural issue with the cover story “We Have Had Abortions,” with the signatures of 53 prominent women, including Billie Jean King, Nora Ephron, Susan Sontag, Anaïs Nin, and Gloria Steinem. Four and half decades later, going public about your (now legal) abortion can still be regarded as a radical act. In an unprecedented step, 113 female attorneys have submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole. The case, which will be heard in early March, is a challenge to a provision of Texas’s restrictive HB2 law, famously filibustered by then-State Senator Wendy Davis in 2013. If it goes into effect, the challenged provision of the law is predicted to close over 75 percent of the state’s remaining clinics.
Roe v. Wade turns 41 today. The past few years have witnessed the landmark Supreme Court, decision, which legalized abortion in 1973, become reduced to a shadow of itself, as state after state passed restrictions which winnowed down the ability to access abortion.
We have covered these developments again and again at the Sisterhood. The logic goes like this: add in waiting periods and parental consent laws, harass or restrict rural clinics out of existence and don’t allow insurance-covered abortion for those on public assistance, and what remains is a “right” that’s a right in name only for many who seek abortion care.
The news from Israel that Ethiopian Jewish women were given birth control shots without their consent has attracted quite a storm of argument, disillusionment and shock — as has the news of the huge number of extra-legal “black market” abortions, both addressed recently at the Sisterhood.
Several years ago I saw the documentary film “The Last Abortion Clinic,” about the Jackson Women’s Health Organization (JWHO) in Jackson, Mississippi. As the title indicates, JWHO is the last clinic in the state that provides abortions; it serves women from all over Mississippi, many of whom are low-income and have trouble paying for their medical care, to say nothing of arranging the transportation to make long journeys to the clinic. For someone like me, who grew up in a Midwest college town and had lived in Boston and New York, it was like watching a film set in a foreign land.
Richard Marker is an advisor to philanthropists, founder of New York University’s Academy for Grantmaking and Funder Education, and co-principal of the firm Wise Philanthropy. He is also an ordained rabbi. In 1968 and 1969, when Marker was in rabbinical school at the Jewish Theological Seminary, he worked part-time as a chaplain at Rutgers University, and then at Hofstra University.