Happy Anniversary

Taking a break from knitting for a moment.  Today I am blogging in support of NARAL's Blog For Choice Day, answering the question:

What will you do to help elect pro-choice candidates in 2012?

Today is the 39th Anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade that affirmed women's right to have an abortion.  As a doula, it means more to me than just that.  It's the anniversary of the affirmation that women can be trusted to make decisions about their own reproductive health, including when, how, and if they have kids.

In 2008, I worked for EMILY's List helping to elect pro-choice, Democratic women in Iowa.  I was on the ground talking to voters and other candidates and supporting EMILY's List candidates and President Obama.  I learned that electing pro-choice candidates is one of the best ways to ensure our right to make the reproductive health decisions that are right for us.  Elected officials are the people who introduce and enact legislation that make it so rape victims don't have to pay for their own rape kits (that law JUST passed in GA this year....jeesh), who ensure insurance coverage for women for contraception and maternity care, who grant federal funds to clinics that provide family planning services to low income women, and who stop the violence against health care providers who provide services that women and their families want and need.

This year it is just as important to me to elect pro-choice candidates.  More and more states are considering "personhood amendments" which would give rights to a fetus at conception.  That would put certain birth control options that stop implantation but not fertilization (like the IUD or emergency contraception), as well as in vitro fertilization, at risk and make it difficult for women who are trying to prevent pregnancy as well as those who really want kids to access health care.  "Conscience clauses" allow providers to refuse routine medical services to women because they have moral objections to the choices made by women, their families and their physicians.  My clients are facing C-sections and inductions they don't want because of policies that are outdated and not based on science.

This stuff makes me mad and sad and sick and makes me want to do something about it.

So, I am working at the Feminist Women's Health Center and participating in their Voice Beyond Choice Advocacy Days at the GA State Capital.  I will get to learn about what my Reps think about pro-choice legislation and to let them know that I will not vote for someone who doesn't care about the rights of the 1 in 3 US women who will seek an abortion in their lifetimes.

I will be making donations to the candidates that do support reproductive rights and speaking out against those that do not.

And I will be talking to my friends and family about what being pro-choice and electing pro-choice candidates means to me.

If you want more information, I encourage you to check out these organizations and to get involved in the 2012 election cycle:

EMILY's List
NARAL Pro-Choice America
Planned Parenthood Action Center