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The Right to Safe and Legal Abortion

I can’t remember a time when women were denied access to safe and legal abortion.  I don’t take this right for granted and neither do 68% of young Americans who believe abortion should be available in their own community. Our grandmothers, our mothers, our communities fought for this right so that I would be able to make my own decisions about my body. As we honor the 41st anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, the right to safe and legal abortion has never felt more important to me than it does now.


In 1973, the Roe ruling stated that a woman’s ability to have a safe abortion is part of her constitutional right to privacy.  In essence, no state could outlaw abortion, yet many have tried. There have been more attacks on our reproductive freedoms in the last three years than in the entire previous decade. Even here in New York, a key piece of legislation to level the playing field for women, the Women’s Equality Act, died in the State Senate last year because it would have codified the tenets of Roe v. Wade in state law.


This fight isn’t about being “pro-choice” or “pro-life.” Those outdated labels don’t come close to defining who we are or the complexity of this issue. Instead of talking about what divides us, let’s talk about what we can agree on. What the majority of us do agree on is that these are decisions that should be left to a woman and her doctor. 

By Nicole Massa, President of Vox: Voices for Planned Parenthood at Stony Brook University


Diane Benjes January 24, 2014 at 10:23 AM
right on, sista!
Ben V February 04, 2014 at 07:16 PM
Said like a very well paid (with my tax money) spokesman. Marist’s December 2013 abortion poll from shows “84% of Americans would limit abortion to, at most, the first three months of pregnancy, with 58% of strongly pro-choice Americans supporting such limits.” Other survey findings include: 80% support parental notification before a minor can obtain an abortion. 79% support a 24-hour waiting period prior to abortion. 76 % oppose allowing abortions to be performed by non-doctors. 62% want to change laws to allow for some restrictions on abortion. 58% support showing a woman an ultrasound of her baby at least a day before an abortion. 57 % believe abortion does a woman more harm than good. Time to start looking for another job.
Nicole Massa February 05, 2014 at 12:30 PM
Abortion is a deeply personal and often complex decision. I don't believe you can make that decision for someone else. Ultimately, decisions about whether to choose adoption, end a pregnancy, or raise a child must be left to a woman, her family, and her faith, with the counsel of her doctor or health care provider. If you're interested in polling, some information can be found here: http://publicreligion.org/research/2011/06/committed-to-availability-conflicted-about-morality-what-the-millennial-generation-tells-us-about-the-future-of-the-abortion-debate-and-the-culture-wars/
Ben V February 06, 2014 at 07:27 PM
It certainly is deeply personal when mothers have 18 inch cold steel forceps, knives, scissors and a vacuum inserted deeply into them to tear apart and suck out the pre-born. Or inserting chemicals to burn the baby to death. Or ingesting chemicals that expel the baby without warning? It certainly is a complex decision. How do we kill the pre-born baby and hopefully do so without poisoning or killing the mother, puncturing her uterus, leaving a baby’s body part within her, or not damaging mom enough where she can never conceive again. Some choice!


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