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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

We've never tried


I have a short and sweet response to those who claim that the United States cannot achieve equality for women without abortion: We've never tried.

Here's the longer version of that answer.

When abortion was legalized in 1973, marital rape was legal. It was gradually criminalized on a state-by-state basis, finally becoming illegal in every U.S. state in 1993.

When abortion was legalized in 1973, lenders could legally discriminate on the basis of gender. As a result, many women did not have the ability to obtain credit cards in their own name until the Equal Credit Opportunity Act became law in 1974.

When abortion was legalized in 1973, women could be excluded from juries.

When abortion was legalized in 1973, the Fair Housing Act prohibited housing discrimination on the basis of race and national origin... but said nothing about discrimination on the basis of sex. (A ban on sex discrimination in housing was added in 1974.)

When abortion was legalized in 1973, the right of unmarried women to access contraceptives had only been established the previous year in Eisenstadt v. Baird.

When abortion was legalized in 1973, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act was five years away.

I could go on, but you get the idea. Graciela Olivarez famously said "The poor cry out for justice, and we respond with legalized abortion." She had developing countries in mind, but the same applies to the United States. Women cried out for freedom from discrimination, and we responded with legalized abortion.

Abortion advocates erroneously credit Roe v. Wade for women's advancement in society and presume that its reversal will send women back to the dark ages. The truth is that the world after the repeal of Roe v. Wade will look nothing like the world of 1973.

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