ACLU continues to defend reproductive freedom one step at a time

22 Jan

Check out Louise Melling’s original post on the Daily Kos.

On the anniversary of Roe v. Wade:

In the wake of President Obama’s inauguration and on the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, it is tempting to use this occasion to recite a litany of policies we want our new legislators to enact: from ensuring contraceptive equity in Wisconsin, to reversing the Bush administration’s midnight rule allowing a broad range of health care providers to refuse basic reproductive health services, to rescinding the global gag rule that withholds international aid from family planning services.

While these policy changes are important, they all will remain vulnerable to the ebb and flow of politics if we do not also do our part to change the public conversation about abortion. Reproductive freedom is essential to ensuring equality: we each must be free to make profoundly personal decisions about our reproductive lives without unwarranted government intrusion. As with all freedoms, there are limits. But a government that respects the personal integrity of its people both interferes in these essentially private decisions as little as possible and helps ensure that everyone has the opportunity to make these decisions responsibly.

We can continue with the politics of abortion we have known for a generation, one that has exploited ambivalence and fear for political gain. Or we can learn from this past year and take this moment of opportunity and hope to start a new conversation, one that begins with the understanding that both the decision to have a child and the decision to have an abortion come from a place of profound respect for the value of life and a strong commitment to ensuring a better life for all.

Another step toward equality in Wisconsin is to encourage our legislators to ensure contraceptive equity. Judges have ruled on the need for insurance companies to cover prescription contraceptives and outpatient services so as not to discriminate on the basis of gender. Writing contraceptive equity into law is fundamental to any efforts to reform health care, protect workers and stand up for gender equality.

– Chris Ahmuty, Executive Director, ACLU of Wisconsin
– Louise Melling, Director, national ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project

One Response to “ACLU continues to defend reproductive freedom one step at a time”

  1. MaryRW January 22, 2009 at 4:47 pm #

    Wonderful commemoration of the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Focusing on our “profound respect for the value of life and a strong commitment to ensuring a better life for all” both goes deeper into the fundamental issues and elevates the tone and quality of our discourse. Thank you!

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