Monday, April 22, 2013

To Everyone Who Called Feminists Chicken Littles: Roe v. Wade Decision Could Be At Risk

Dating back to the 2004 election, I can remember both conservatives and liberals telling me not to worry about the outcome, because, let's face it, no one is going to overturn Roe. v. Wade. During the 2012 election, I wrote about the general apathy some of my male friends showed toward women's issues, which they considered tangential to the election. They were more concerned about the evil of the two-party system, among other things. I didn't disagree with them but pointed out that as white men, they have the luxury of taking a chance on a third party candidate.

But this election season, I saw more posts than ever encouraging people not to vote, or to stop throwing this do-goody voting thing in their faces. Some of the posts suggested that social issues like gay marriage and abortion were hijacking the debate. As I read these posts, something else sank in. 

I noticed it not only when I looked through the endless feed of election related Facebook posts, but looking back to every single time I heard the apathetic mumbles of my generation. Those snide, holier than thou remarks, telling us that our votes don't really count. Who did they come from? Young white men.

Young white men have plenty to lose in a general election. But they don’t have as much to lose. It is the luxury of a privileged group to separate itself from the drab responsibilities of every day life and look down upon the conventional, less than perfect path ahead. It is the luxury of a group that has always had the right to vote since the country’s founding, to take that vote for granted. 

It is the luxury of a privileged group to tell less privileged groups to calm down, because even if the other guy wins, your rights aren’t really in danger. It’s easier to call Democrats’ appeal to women voters fear mongering when you haven’t actually wondered how soon a group of politicians would start to chip away at your personal agency.

Not only is that argument reductionist (feminist women care about helluva lot more than Roe b. Wade) but the idea that Roe v. Wade will be protected forever is just patently false.

North Dakota's governor recently signed a law banning all abortions in the state. And many other states are chipping away at abortion rights as well. This trend could ensure a Supreme Court battle happens sometime in the near future, which is ultimately what conservatives want.

Here is a New York Times graphic that breaks down recent developments in states' battle for abortion rights:

To read more on how this North Dakota law could provide a constitutional challenge and overturn Roe  v. Wade read here.

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