By Hannah Sherman, Intern
A group of liberal California kids (accidentally) walk into a pro-life convention. No, this isn’t the start of a joke, but rather a true story illustrating the chasm between pro-life and pro-choice views in America today. This past weekend, as I walked with fellow college students past booths with pamphlets and poster boards, little kids playing with baby dolls and life size cut-outs of Ronald Reagan so you could take your picture with a hero of the pro-life movement, I began to see how contentious Roe v. Wade remains in the American political and social sphere.
As a student at the University of California, Santa Cruz, arguably one of the more liberal institutions in the University of California system, I live in this unique bubble where there are two unspoken and implied laws of the land. Number 1: The Grateful Dead is the best band to ever roam the face of the earth. Number 2: Roe v. Wade was, and still remains, the most important decision in recent times, protecting a woman’s health and reproductive freedom.
January 22, 2012 marked the 39th anniversary of this landmark Supreme Court decision. In a statement released by President Obama, he reaffirmed his commitment to protect a woman’s right to choose as a “fundamental constitutional right,” elaborating that women should have the same rights as men in fulfilling our dreams. In stark contrast, the remaining GOP candidates have expressed their desire to see Roe v. Wade reversed, one even going so far as to affirm his support for a fetal personhood amendment, which would, among other things, criminalize abortion even in cases of rape. While our generation doesn’t have a Gloria Steinem or Betty Friedan leading a contemporary feminist movement, it is as important as ever to continue the fight for reproductive freedom. It is for that reason that women and men alike celebrate Roe v. Wade and the continued impact it has on the life of every woman to choose her own destiny.