Ending the War on Women
By Nancy Northup
In poll after poll, year after year, a clear majority of Americans—7 in 10—say they support Roe v. Wade, the historic U.S. Supreme Court ruling that established a woman’s right to abortion.
In spite of this broad support, today a woman’s right to make her own decisions about her health, her pregnancy, her family, and her future is under relentless attack across the United States. Opponents of reproductive freedom are passing sham laws designed to make it nearly impossible for a woman to safely and legally end a pregnancy. These restrictions are duplicitously trumpeted as protecting women’s health, despite the fact that abortion is one of medicine’s safest procedures.
It’s the biggest assault in the war on women in the four decades since Roe was decided.
In just the last four years, anti-choice politicians have enacted more than 230 of these underhanded state laws. In Texas alone, the number of reproductive health clinics shrank from over 40 to just 13.
If politicians forced 80 percent of the polling booths in Texas to close, would you say you still had the right to vote there? If 80 percent of schools in the state shut down, would children still have the right to an education? The answer to both these questions, of course, is absolutely not.
Yet a woman’s right to choose—a right guaranteed by the Constitution—is increasingly dependent on where she happens to live.
That’s why lawyers for the Center for Reproductive Rights are on the ground in courts across the nation fighting to keep clinics open and services accessible. In North Dakota and Mississippi—among the nearly half-dozen states that have just one abortion provider remaining in the entire state—we’ve successfully fended off legislative attacks designed to shut those clinics down. We have fought sham laws all the way up to the Supreme Court, where last October we were granted an emergency order that allowed a number of clinics in Texas to reopen.
Our work doesn’t end there. In our nation’s capital, anti-choice politicians are working overtime to impose laws like those in Texas on our entire country. We are spearheading federal legislation, the Women’s Health Protection Act, that is designed stop the flood of unnecessary reproductive health restrictions altogether.
But to truly end this war on women, there’s one more thing we’ll need: you. We’ve launched a campaign with a simple message: war on women is over—if you want it. Inspired by Yoko Ono and John Lennon’s original 1970s “War Is Over” campaign, with permission from Yoko Ono, it reminds us that we have the power to end the war on women. But it will take each and every one of us to stand up and take action.
We have to call on our leaders to restore access to basic health care for the millions of women who have had services taken away—not pass political measures that only undermine women’s health and well-being.
The war on women can be over—if you want it. Do you? Spread the word.
The Center for Reproductive Rights is a grantee of the Open Society Foundations.