By Robin Marty and Jessica Mason Pieklo
In the days before Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in all fifty states, a woman’s ability to control her destiny by controlling when she became a parent was a luxury afforded only to those who had income and connections. Forty years later, that’s largely once more true.
Although Roe was celebrated as a victory for the right to privacy—with the court ruling that prior to fetal viability a woman’s healthcare decisions were for her consideration alone—activists failed to fully explain the human rights aspect of the ruling. By decriminalizing abortion nationwide, the ruling was supposed to allow all women, not just those who were wealthy or well connected, the right to control the size of their families, their personal health and their physical and economic future. This is a matter of fundamental civil rights. Continue reading