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!