Roe at 40

Today is the 40th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the United States Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion for American women. I wrote about it in the Guardian, emphasizing the fact that abortion, birth control and bodily autonomy are crucial for women’s survival and our freedom. Without the right to determine the number and spacing of our children, we lose the ability to drive our own lives and to live fully freely, happily and healthily. Outlawing abortion doesn’t decrease the abortion rate; it just drives women to use a more dangerous methods and put their lives and their health at risk. Forty years on, Roe is as important as ever. And American society is, sadly, as misogynist as ever — evidenced by the very fact that abortion is still a fight.

Oh also this is my 5,000th post for Feministe. Whoa. To celebrate this milestone, here are some cats wearing hats. Thanks, Liza, for the link!

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About Jill

Jill began blogging for Feministe in 2005. She has since written as a weekly columnist for the Guardian newspaper and in April 2014 she was appointed as senior political writer for Cosmopolitan magazine.
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27 Responses to Roe at 40

  1. Kerandria says:

    Congratulations on 5k!


  2. Pingback: Old Click » Wading in Uncomfortable Waters: Abortion and the Politics of Experience

  3. Foxy says:

    We just have to look to south.In mexico and various latin american countries abortion is illegal thanks to the nefarious catholic church.Obama should atleast put pressure on these countries.

    • PrettyAmiable says:

      I think abortion legality is super-important for women abroad (what up to the women in my extended family in abortion-ass-backwards Poland), but don’t you think Obama’s first move should be to solidify its legality in the US? I’m a little uncomfortable with our president going around to other countries and acting as a moral pillar for women’s rights when the last year has seen so many abortion restrictions enacted at the state level.

      • Jill says:

        Also how, exactly, would Obama “put pressure” on other sovereign nations to legalize abortion?

      • EG says:

        Drone attacks, obviously.

      • Bagelsan says:

        By “drone attacks” do you mean he should drop Foxy in to talk to them? :D

      • EG says:

        We should be so lucky.

      • Andie says:

        By “drone attacks” do you mean he should drop Foxy in to talk to them? :D


      • Foxy says:

        @jill,if usa can consistently install puppet governments in latin america,I think they are more than capable to push for abortion rights

      • amblingalong says:

        I’m about to do something sort of hideous; please don’t hate me but… Foxy’s got a point (sort of). Through it’s various aid organizations, the US actually has a tremendous amount of say in the health services that are or aren’t available in some place in some countries; on big example is the Mexico City Policy, which withholds USAID funds from organizations that so much as provide information on abortion (Democratic presidents typically repeal it their first day in office, Republicans reinstate it in the same manner. It’s ping-pong, and it makes it incredibly hard for a lot of NGOs to do their work because they switch between funded and not funded so quickly). So, while Obama has been pretty good on this front, there’s some truth to the argument US policy on abortion rights matters internationally.

        THERE I DID IT.

      • While I agree with amblingalong’s points, I should also say that in countries where abortion is illegal, a top-down change – particularly one based on political pressure from the US – isn’t going to be well-regarded. And, if anything, is going to cause massive backlash. Just a 0.02 from someone who used to live in such a country; I can practically see the BJP’s shrieking outrage if anything of the sort was tried in India.

      • hotpot says:

        Well, the only conceivable thing Obama could do besides continue to appoint pro-Roe judges is push for federal legislation. All of these state level restrictions are having an impact on interstate commerce.

  4. Bagelsan says:

    Why does this cat/hat blog insist on talking about things like abortion? I will be reading elsewhere henceforth. GOOD DAY.

  5. Alison says:

    WOOHOO LOOK AT MY POWER, cats in hats, I totally called it.


    Also too, wonderful piece, Jill. Happy anniversary, Roe!

  6. Good piece.

    Is HBO showing If These Walls Could Talk today? Do they even acknowledge its existence these days? I had a chance to see it a couple of weeks ago, and I know it’s airing on a channel in Canada in early February, but beyond that the topic seems to have been banned from North American media, save for people promoting forced-birth, reproduction-at-any-cost policies.

    Incidentally, next Monday marks the 25th anniversary of the Canadian court decision R. v. Morgentaler, which struck down the kind of onerous administrative provisions restricting abortion access that the GOP is trying to re-implement on the state level.

  7. Jovan1984 says:

    The 5,000th post was well timed, Jill! Congrats!

    The sentence prior to your milestone acknowledgement is also well said. I have continuously railed about the United States of America’s Culture of Misogyny and I have pointed out the fact that we are about as bad as the extreme Muslim nations that most of us are always condemning for their treatment of the women in those nations.

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