[Marxism] Keep Abortion Legal- A Most Important March This Sundayin D.C.

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at osu.edu
Sat Apr 24 11:55:17 MDT 2004


>    I would like to throw out the idea that might unite the 
>"Choosers" and the "lifers," why couldn't there be a proposal that 
>would give women the right to chose to have control of her choices, 
>but also some support for those who CHOSE to not abort.  Just a 
>thought.
>
>Lana

I doubt that the truly ideologically committed to anti-abortion 
activism will come around to join pro-choicers, but young women -- 
especially young women of color -- are emphasizing a broader concept 
of reproductive rights and freedoms, without losing sight of the 
necessity of the right to abortion for women's self-determination:

*****   The New York Times, April 24, 2004
For Abortion Rights Cause, a New Diversity
By LYNETTE CLEMETSON

. . . As abortion rights advocates prepare for Sunday's event, which 
they call the March for Women's Lives, veterans of the movement say 
they have been striving to address a decline in support among women 
under age 30. But young first-generation Americans and recent 
immigrants, many of whom maintain connections to countries where 
reproductive rights are part of a still-burgeoning struggle over 
women's issues, are bringing new energy and broader perspectives to 
the cause.

This weekend Ms. [Kalpana] Krishnamurthy [of the Third Wave 
Foundation] will be joined in a youth-focused coalition by other new 
leaders like Silvia Henriquez, 29, the daughter of Salvadoran 
immigrants who is now director of the National Latina Institute for 
Reproductive Health, and Crystal Plati, 30, born in Cyprus, raised in 
Queens and now director of Choice USA, a multiethnic outreach 
organization started by Gloria Steinem.

These young leaders are far from the only newcomers to the movement, 
however. Of more than 1,400 groups that have signed up to send 
delegations to the march, dozens are just starting to lend their 
efforts, among them Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority and South 
Asians for Choice, an organization founded last month by two recent 
Brown University graduates who have organized 150 people to 
participate in this weekend's activities.

Longtime abortion rights advocates lament what they view as a growing 
complacency among women who have come of age in the 31 years since 
the Supreme Court's ruling in Roe v. Wade legalized the procedure.

"Women today assume rights," said Kate Michelman, president of Naral 
Pro-Choice America. "They don't feel a sense of urgency."

New leaders acknowledge the challenge in mobilizing the post-Roe 
generation. But they believe that their understanding of issues 
concerning younger women among a variety of ethnic groups can help 
the movement expand its reach.

The word "abortion" is spoken sparingly by the younger advocates, who 
say it can restrict outreach and allow anti-abortion groups to wage a 
single-issue debate. Many of these organizers, using terms like 
"reproductive rights" and "reproductive justice," say their agenda 
must include issues like comprehensive sex education, emergency 
contraception, affordable prenatal care for low-income women and, for 
immigrants, improved access to reproductive health care by providers 
who speak their patients' native languages.

The youth-focused coalition in which Ms. Plati, Ms. Henriquez and Ms. 
Krishnamurthy are participating will sponsor a workshop on Saturday 
called the 10 in 10 Gathering, a reference, organizers say, to the 
fact that while not all young women will have to confront a decision 
about abortion, 10 in 10 will have to deal broadly with their sexual 
health.

"When we define choice," Ms. Plati said, "it's about a woman's right 
to decide if and when she will have sex, if and when she will get 
pregnant, if and when she will carry a pregnancy to term, and if and 
when she will raise a child."

Veteran abortion rights supporters generally welcome the new 
diversity of thought, though some caution that the movement cannot 
let down its guard on abortion specifically.

"These new issues reflect the reality of women's lives," said Ms. 
Michelman, who has visited dozens of college campuses in recent 
months to build support for the march. "But the fundamental right to 
choose, as recognized in Roe, is really at great risk, and that could 
change the reality very severely and suddenly. We have to maintain 
focus on that."

That is an argument not lost on Leila Balali, a software engineer who 
stopped by Naral Pro-Choice America's organizing center here this 
week. Ms. Balali, 35, who was born and raised in Iran but has been in 
the United States since 1986, said that although she would be unable 
to attend the march, she wanted to help make posters as a show of 
support.

"This shouldn't even be an issue in this country," she said. "Women 
in this country need to realize that if they don't raise their 
voices, slowly, slowly they may lose their voice."

<http://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/24/politics/24MARC.html>   *****
-- 
Yoshie

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