Forty years ago today Roe v. Wade gave all Americans the right to safe and legal abortions. This groundbreaking ruling forever changed the landscape of reproductive rights in the United States. Make no mistake, Roe did much more than simply provide access to abortion. It gave millions of people a chance. It saved the lives of countless people who would have otherwise had to seek back alley procedures. It gave opportunity to those not ready or able to take on the responsibility that comes with raising a child. It did this and so much more.
Today we are still fighting to maintain our right to reproductive choice. Legislation is continually being put forth by politicians trying to restrict abortion and make the procedure inaccessible to those who need it. In the last couple of years there have been unparalleled attacks on choice, with 2011 seeing a record 80 new abortion restrictions. This is unacceptable. It is clear that our fight is not over. There is work left to be done.
If the last few elections have showed us anything, it is that young people can and will make their voices heard. There is strength in our numbers and in our passion, and it is time for us to step up once again in support of choice. It is important to do what we can to make sure that we never go back. No step is too small: Write a letter to the editor or to your elected officials, blog about reproductive justice, get involved in local groups that protect choice. Go out and vote, or even better, campaign for the officials that can make the changes we need. Sign petitions, pass them on, tell everyone you know what they can do to help. It is time for us to do more, and together we can ensure that we never return to what life was like pre-Roe.
This is our call to action.