January 21, 2014

LETTER | Honor Roe v. Wade by Honoring Access to Family Support

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To the Editor:

As we honor the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we see the right to an abortion crumbling away. In the past three years, more laws have been passed to bar access to abortion than in the entire previous decade combined. Not only are we blocking access to abortion and contraception, but also to the very support systems created for those who choose to parent, like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. Six in ten women choosing abortion are already mothers. We cannot block a woman’s access to a safe and legal family planning option, all while cutting holes in her safety net, threatening to repeal her access to healthcare and pulling food from her children’s mouths. This isn’t right.

This isn’t about being “pro-choice” or “pro-life.” The labels don’t come close to defining who we are or the complexity of this issue. Instead of talking about what divides us, let’s talk to people like me who have had an abortion. Ask us what resources we need to prevent unplanned pregnancies. Support us as we decide between parenting, abortion and adoption. Honor this anniversary by passing laws that support families and empower women to make the best decision for themselves. Isn’t that what community is all about?

Renee Bracey Sherman grad