Today is the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. It’s a good day to reflect and ask “have we come a long way, baby?” For those who have fought to keep this right for us, we are grateful. And yet, we know we still must fight to retain this right. We need leaders to protect that right.
Senator John Kerry, our ’04 nominee, reaffirmed his support for Roe v. Wade, and all those who fight every day to protect a woman’s right to choose, today. His first speech on the Senate floor was in fact a speech in support of women’s reproductive rights. Kerry continues to push for strong and unbroken abortion rights to this day.
“Thirty five years ago today, the Supreme Court affirmed the right to privacy in the landmark Roe v. Wade decision,” said Kerry. “Ever since that day, the modern conservative movement has spared no resources or energy to try and roll back a fundamental freedom and put personal and private decisions in the hands of politicians not women, families, doctors, and clergy. We’ve seen the right wing pack the courts and pass backdoor legislative efforts at the local, state, and federal level to chip away at or even undermine Roe v Wade entirely.”
“Now more than ever, we need to protect the right to privacy. We must rededicate ourselves to the fight to make it clear that a 35 year old statement of a constitutional right must not be overturned. From the struggle to repeal a global gag rule, to the battle against extreme judicial nominees, to filibusters of conscience against President Bush’s most dangerous choices for the bench all the way to the Supreme Court, we have fought for principle, and that fight must continue until we have a voice in the White House who will stand up for a woman’s right to privacy rather than work to erode it.”
Hillary Clinton announced her campaign agenda for reproductive health care today saying, “”When I’m President, I will appoint judges to our courts who understand that Roe v. Wade isn’t just binding legal precedent, it is the touchstone of our reproductive freedom, the embodiment of our most fundamental rights, and no one – no judge, no governor, no Senator, no President – has the right to take it away.”
Clinton’s “agenda includes preventing unintended pregnancies by increasing access to honest, accurate sex education, contraception and family planning services, ensuring that private health plans offer the same level of coverage for contraception as they do for other prescription drugs and services, ensuring that women who survive sexual assault have access to emergency contraception upon request.”
“On the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I am reaffirming my commitment to safe, legal, and rare abortion, and unveiling an agenda for decreasing the number of unintended pregnancies in the U.S. through honest and complete sex education and expanded access to contraception and family planning,” said Clinton.
Whoever our next president is must affirm that they will preserve this right for women. There was no question in ’04 that Kerry would not back down on this issue and I trust that Hillary Clinton is the candidate in ’08 that will ensure that women will continue to have a right to reproductive freedom and privacy.