Letter to the Editor

Anniversary of Roe v. Wade calls for celebration, attention to issues of women’s health

Why the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade means a new beginning:

Jan. 22, 2013 marks the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, a decision that legalized abortion in the United States. This decision single-handedly has saved lives, and now it is our job to honor this historic event.

Many people my age don’t know what it was like to grow up without access to safe and legal abortion, and I hope that my sister will grow up this way, too. According to a 2012 Gallup poll, 77 percent of Americans think abortion should be legal in some or all cases, though the language we use to discuss abortion no longer reflects this statistic. Actually, the ways in which people discuss abortion has changed entirely.

More than ever, I hear people discussing abortion without using the terms “pro-choice” or “pro-life.” Labels simply do not explain the complexity of this health matter and cannot be defined within the limitations of two terms. Abortion is a deeply personal health matter, plain and simple.

Across the nation, we are united through our shared belief in access to safe and legal health services – including abortion. We also know that our politicians should not make these health decisions for women. Every woman has her own story, and we don’t walk in her shoes.

Therefore, as we celebrate the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we are beginning a new conversation about abortion and women’s health. These issues aren’t so black and white, they never have been, and now we’re speaking up about it. College students like me care about continuing the legacy of Roe.

Erin Carhart

Syracuse University 2014

Young Leaders Advisory Council Member

Planned Parenthood Federation of America

 

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