Blog for Choice 2013! 40 more years of Roe!

by Erin Arizzi

Today, pro-choice women and men all over the country took part in NARAL Pro Choice America’s 8th annual “Blog For Choice Day.” The goal of the initiative is to have prominent journalists and critics speak out about how they feel regarding choice in America, but it’s also an opportunity for every person to enter her/his voice into this important dialogue.

Here, we’re highlighting two North Carolina bloggers who have participated today. Both accounts offer specific insight into how the nation-wide battle against a woman’s right to choose is playing out in our state.

Lee Storrow writes:

As we celebrate the Roe v. Wade decision today, it’s important that we stay vigilant in protecting women’s right to make personal decisions about their reproductive health. The anti-choice movement will stop at nothing to make abortion legal in name only. These threats on women’s choices don’t just threaten their reproductive health, they threaten their ability to choose their own future, and exist as equal citizens in our state and country. It’s no mistake that many of the same organizations that oppose meaningful access to abortion also oppose the legal recognition of gay and lesbian couples or women’s success in the workforce. Granting these rights threatens the patriarchy, and “traditional” views about how men and women should exist in society. Let’s keep fighting to protect Roe, and ensure every person has the right to choose their own future.

See the rest of his post here.

Cynthia R. Greenlee-Donnell, a doctoral student in history at Duke University (and NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina Board Member), reminds us that North Carolina has a long history of being a progressive state when it comes to reproductive rights for women. As she puts it:

While we may think of North Carolina as a red state or sometimes swing-state purple, it was once unequivocally blue in the matter of abortion care. In 1978, after Congress passed the Hyde Amendment barring use of federal Medicaid monies for low-income women’s abortions, North Carolina created its own state abortion fund.

The idea: Poor women shouldn’t have to face a lifetime emotional and economic commitment to a child because they didn’t have the hundreds of dollars for an abortion. That fund served the state’s women well until the mid-1990s, when onerous new financial requirements made it nigh impossible for women on Medicaid, precisely those with the least resources, to access it. But the death knell for the fund didn’t come until after Republicans won a majority in both chambers of the statehouse in 2010, which amounted to one of those rare political storms of the century.

What a difference 40 years and a single midterm election can make. In one fell swoop, the bicameral Republican majority pushed through an abortion law change, which requires 24-hour waiting periods and mandatory biased counseling before a woman can freely exercise her choice to have an abortion. One element of that law — requiring women submit to an ultrasound, listen to a narration describing the image if she looks away, and be offered the chance to hear a fetal heartbeat — is under an injunction and in a judge’s hands.

Read Greenlee-Donnell’s complete blog post for The Institute for Southern Studies here.

What was the best posting you read today about Roe? Let us know in the comments section, or if you prefer, via facebook or twitter.

Erin Arizzi is a the Communications Intern at NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina. She is also a PhD student and teaching fellow in Communication Studies at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has a Masters Degree in Rhetoric from UNC-CH, and a BA in English from Villanova University in Pennsylvania. 

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