For every woman seeking an abortion, there’s a man responsible for that unwanted pregnancy. We need them in this fight.
The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on Friday morning, turning the legality of abortion rights over to states to decide. We’ve failed to keep abortion a constitutional right because we’ve made abortion a women’s issue when it is everyone’s issue. It’s time pro-choice advocates change our strategy.
I was 5 in 1973, when the Supreme Court passed Roe. But the decision was never a complete safeguard for women. I grew up watching as state and federal laws restricted access, especially for poor women and women of color. In high school, my mom took me to Washington to the March for Women’s Lives. We chanted, “Keep your laws off my body.”
This was a women’s issue, we thought.
And how could it not be? After all, pregnancy was happening to our bodies.
The year before I graduated from college in 1990, the Supreme Court ruled in Webster v. Reproductive Health Services that certain state abortion restrictions were not unconstitutional. As I was becoming an adult, taking control of my life, women’s autonomy was being taken away, state by state. I got pissed. No state lawmaker would tell me what I could do with my body. I took this conviction to the extreme and organized the Reproductive Freedom Ride. In the summer of 1991, I bicycled across the country with a band of activists demanding reproductive justice, including access to safe, legal abortion. We used ourselves, our physical power, as a manifestation of our argument.