Today marks the 39th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. It is sort of independence that only women have to worry about: reproductive freedom. In 2011 alone, Congress voted 8 different times on measures that would limit women’s health options. This year, women were forced to watch time and time again as our rights were put up to a vote by privileged, heterosexual, white men in Washington. And then again as the individual states began enacting their own measures to limit women’s health options.
Not surprisingly, I have found myself reading a headline, hearing a news report and asking, “Why the sudden interest in my uterus?” It is terrifying to think, that even in 2012, women are still fighting for the right to make decisions regarding our own health, and our bodies. That we are eight years away from marking the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. And yet, here we are, still fighting tooth and nail for our rights as women who are capable of making intelligent, informed decisions.
When I think about independence, this is what comes to mind. I think about a freedom that is slowly being stripped away, little by little. It’s so subtle that most people don’t even realize it’s happening. But even today women have to constantly fight for their right to be heard, for that independence and freedom that women like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony worked so hard to ensure for future generations. They allowed our voices to be heard, for the 19th Amendment to be passed that allowed women the right to vote, so that we could prevent measures like the ones happening now, from ever taking hold.