Friday, January 26, 2007

The World We Want

The ACLU gives me hope with this piece. When I wrote the letter to Aradia Women's Health Center's donors & supporters announcing our closure, I ended with this thought:

Our success is due in large part to you, Aradia’s supporters, who have consistently believed in the power of feminist health care and championed Aradia’s mission. I hope our vision statement continues to inspire you and that you carry it forward: Aradia Women's Health Center envisions a world where each woman's individual choices regarding her reproductive and sexual health are respected so that she may live freely and truly reach her highest potential.

Because that is truly what's important - we must all continue our work towards the creation of the world we want to see, the world we want to live in, and the world we want our children to inherit. The dissolution of Aradia is depressing on many levels - but ultimately we need to ensure that we are ever vigilantly carrying forward a vision of a future where all women live in justice and equality.

The World We Want: 34 Years after Roe v. Wade

By Louise Melling, Director, ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project

Thirty-four years ago this month the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in Roe v. Wade, significantly expanding the ability of women across the country to decide when and whether to become a parent. The decision, while immensely important, was only one step in this country’s journey to true reproductive freedom. The world we want includes access to safe and legal abortion care, secures our right to have children when we are ready, and supports programs that foster healthy families and healthy lives for all.

The decision when and whether to become a parent is one of the most private a person can make and one that has a profound affect on all aspects of our lives. To participate fully in society, we must be free to answer for ourselves whether we are ready and capable of being parents. To achieve this world, we must continue to strive for reproductive freedom for everyone.

Supporting the right to have children: In the world we want, women, men, and families have the support they need to maintain healthy lives, healthy pregnancies, and healthy families. Reproductive health care is basic health care. All parents are equipped with the means to care for and educate their children and provide for their families.

Ensuring the right not to have children: In the world we want, all women have meaningful access to contraception and abortion, and both are considered part of basic health care. Unfortunately, in the world we live, we see a growing disparity between the ability of rich and poor women to prevent unintended pregnancies and obtain abortion care.

Educating for healthy lives: In the world we want, the government puts resources into programs that offer real information for real lives. Instead of federally funded abstinence-only-until-marriage programs that fail to give teens information on how to prevent unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, government supported sexuality education would give people the information they need to make healthy decisions when it comes to sex, relationships, and family planning.

The world we want meets the needs of real people working to build a life for themselves and their families. On this 34th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, it is time to take a critical look at the world we have and start working together to build the world we want.

1 comment:

Jocie said...

Hello Miss.
I thought of you on this 1/22. Okay...maybe the next day when I realized that I hadn't had an event to plan or coffee to make for the masses.

Actually, I think of you, David and the kiddos all the time.

Lots of love!

Feminist Peace Network