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The Right to Choose

What do Ruth Bader-Ginsburg and George Carlin have in common?

They share a prescient understanding of the reproductive rights issue that is currently being ripped apart by the Supreme Court. To quote comedian George Carlin “Pro-life conservatives are obsessed with the fetus from conception to 9 months. After that, they don’t wanna to know about you. If you’re pre-born you are fine, if you’re pre-school, you are f***ed.” Carlin seems to be saying, and I agree, that the right to life expires at birth.

I am not pro-abortion, but I am pro-choice

Is anybody really pro-abortion? The idea of this is so preposterous that it is absurd. Can we not be both pro-life and see that choosing this medical procedure, is at times, a necessity to protect the physical and mental health of the mother? Even if we could agree on this point (which we can’t) what is clear is that this issue has never been about a woman’s right to choose. It has never been about women at all. While speaking at a “Roe v. Wade at 40” presentation at the University of Chicago School of Law in 2013, Justice Ginsburg stated the following regarding the 1973 decision: “Roe isn’t really about the woman’s choice, is it? It’s about the doctor’s freedom to practice…it wasn’t woman-centered, it was physician-centered.”

Woman's hands in fists showing solidarity with the right to choose movement.

At this same presentation, when asked what would happen if Roe were overturned, Justice Ginsburg replied, “The effect would largely be restricted to poor women in anti-choice states.” She went on to say that “If you have the sophistication and the money, you’re going to have someplace in the United States where your choice can be exercised in a safe manner. It would mean poor women have no choice. That doesn’t make sense as a policy.”

At my age, I am well past the point of having to consider the need for an abortion, but I am worried for young women who may. If I had needed an abortion as a younger woman, it would have been available to me. I would have had the financial support and the benefit of good medical care even while enduring parental and personal disappointment. Not all women have this privilege.

What I can do

So, what can I do about it? First, I must reconcile myself to the paradox that any successful argument to reinstate the right to choose cannot be about a woman’s right to choose. One possibility that would benefit a woman’s right to choose, would be passage of the equal rights amendment. The Equal Rights Amendment, first written in 1923 and re-written in 1943 states that, “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.” This passing would provide women reproductive autonomy. Finally, I can be fully informed and thoughtful about how I vote because I do get to make this choice.

With the volatile nature of the current overturning of Roe vs. Wade, the need for inclusive based training is higher than ever. Training and curriculum designed to teach equality within the workplace and eliminate gender-based discrimination is at the forefront of Marilyn’s training. Contact her today to see how your team can benefit from her expertise.