NARAL Pro-Choice America About Our Bloggers Contact Us Disclaimer RSS Feed

Where We Stand: The Status of Choice in 2011

| | Comments (3) | TrackBacks (0)

Saturday marked the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that recognized a woman's constitutional right to choose abortion. This fundamental right has been upheld in numerous court decisions, most notably in the 1992 decision, Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey. However, anti-choice forces continue to chip away at this right.

In his dissent in Casey, Chief Justice William Rehnquist wrote that "Roe continues to exist, but only in the way a storefront on a western movie set exists: a mere facade to give the illusion of reality."

Now, Rehnquist was an anti-choice justice; he didn't believe that women's constitutional right to make personal, private medical decisions existed at all. But in the 19 years since Casey, much of his prediction has been borne out:

For many American women, the right to choose is more of a hope than a reality. And given the legislative landscape, the outlook for 2011 is rather bleak. John Boehner, the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, is now the most powerful anti-choice politician in the country. Just last week, Boehner called restricting women's access to abortion care one of his "highest legislative priorities."

Anti-choice politicians in the states are threatening a whole laundry list of bills that interfere with women's health and privacy, from abortion-coverage bans to measures that would force women to view an ultrasound before she can access abortion care - even if her doctor doesn't recommend it. There are now 15 states with fully anti-choice governments (both chambers of the legislature and the governor are anti-choice). That's up from 10 last year. 

Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, recently gave her assessment of the status of choice in 2011 in The Huffington Post:  

From Washington, D.C. to statehouses across the country, pro-choice Americans have our work cut out for us this year if we're going to protect a woman's right to choose.

2011 is indeed going to be a busy, bumpy year for America's pro-choice majority. But seeing all the terrific posts from Blog for Choice Day last Friday gives me confidence in our strength. 

Enhanced by Zemanta
Facebook Twitter YouTube Tumblr flickr
Donate Take Action
In Your State Share Your Story
Get email updates from NARAL Pro-Choice America:
Search the Blog
Featured Video
Most Recent Entries