OTI Newsletter – February 9, 2012

OTI Newsletter – February 9, 2012

In the wake of the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, reproductive activists have watched the abortion debate make national headlines surrounding the controversy caused by the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation’s defunding for Planned Parenthood. And despite the systematic attacks on women’s reproductive healthcare access, the inspiring responses from activists — online and in the streets — points to a hopeful future. In this newsletter from On The Issues Magazine, we’re featuring pieces to and from young activists in support of the next generation of reproductive justice warriors.

In “Letter to a Young Activist: Do Not Drop The Banner,” Babara Santee sounds the alarm for the next generation of reproductive rights activists:

First of all, understand that the anti-choice movement has been with us nearly 40 years, is not going away, and probably never will. Young people must prepare themselves for a lifelong engagement in this crucial war to protect women’s reproductive autonomy. If we don’t consider ourselves soldiers in a war, we are living in a dream world because the anti-abortion extremists do consider themselves to be warriors. If side A is prepared at any cost to take away side B’s freedom, and side B is saying, “It can never happen,” it will happen. Trust me. It is not hyperbole to say that abortion hangs by a thin thread.

I encourage you to incorporate some aspect of reproductive freedom into your career plans, not as a peripheral issue of occasional interest, but as a central piece of your life’s work. Your energy, intelligence and skills are desperately needed.

In How Anti-Abortion Protesters Got Me: Letter From a Young Activist, Sarah Flint Erdreich writes:

I was 13 years old during the anti-choice “Summer of Mercy” in 1991 when anti-choice activists laid siege to Dr. George Tiller’s clinic in Wichita, Kansas. That was the beginning of my abortion education – my first awareness that there were people in this country who opposed abortion so strongly that they would leave their homes and spend days harassing and yelling at other people.

Prior to that, I didn’t realize that anyone could oppose a woman’s right to choose. A lot of this naiveté was due to growing up with liberal parents in Ann Arbor, Michigan, an equally liberal college town. I vividly remember my mother’s “Pro-Child, Pro-Family, Pro-Choice” button; in my mind, those six words pretty much summed up the entire debate.

No doubt, part of my fascination with the summer siege arose from a deep, almost instinctive interest in anything that hinted at controversy…

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Deepening the Conversation with Insights Fresh from the Café

Abortion is a Moral Decision by Rev. Debra W. Haffner

A Counselor’s View: Embracing A Holistic Perspective of Abortion by Linda Weber

Occupying the Air: Banners Wave Truths about Abortion & Rights by Elizabeth Creely

We want to hear what you think about the ideas in the magazine. Please contribute your thoughts to our comments section at the end of every story and Café piece, or write a letter to the editor.

And we hope you’ll share this rich repository of material with your friends and colleagues — find us on Facebook and Twitter! We’re using the hashtag #abortion this issue, so add it to your tweets to jump in the conversation.

Thanks for reading!


Merle Hoffman's Choices: A Post-Roe Abortion Rights Manifesto

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“Merle Hoffman has always known that in a democracy, we each have decision-making power over the fate of our own bodies. She is a national hero for us all.” —Gloria Steinem

In the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe V. Wade and a country divided, Merle Hoffman, a pioneer in the pro-choice movement and women’s healthcare, offers an unapologetic and authoritative take on abortion calling it “the front line and the bottom line of women’s freedom and liberty.” 

Merle Hoffman has been at the forefront of the reproductive freedom movement since the 1970s. Three years before the Supreme Court legalized abortion through Roe v. Wade, she helped to establish one of the United States’ first abortion centers in Flushing, Queens, and later went on to found Choices, one of the nation’s largest and most comprehensive women’s medical facilities. For the last five decades, Hoffman has been a steadfast warrior and fierce advocate for every woman’s right to choose when and whether or not to be a mother.