Friday, January 16, 2009

Commemorating Roe v. Wade

Next week is going to be an exciting week for Americans. With the inauguration of a new president that will usher in change, people will be celebrating. However, I want to make sure that folks find time next week to think about another important day. Next Thursday, January 22nd, is the 36th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court case that legalized abortion and gave women the right to make personal, private decisions about their own bodies and medical care.

36 years ago I was not born, so I came into this world with the privilege of having the right to chose. And unfortunately, many women my age don't really recognize or understand the struggle that ensued in order to give women the right to their own bodies. Two years ago, Planned Parenthood celebrated the 34th Anniversary of Roe with guest speaker Sarah Weddington, the attorney who argued Roe v. Wade in the Supreme Court. I was fortunate to meet Ms. Weddington and it was a moment in my life that I will never forget - especially the stories she had to tell about the struggle for reproductive freedom.

As the 36th anniversary rolls near, I want to offer up some suggestion on how you could celebrate this important marker for women. First, you could read up on some of the history of the reproductive rights struggle in order to understand the lengthy path of a woman's right to chose. Here is a good site to look for books on the topic. I might also suggest reading Sarah Weddington's book "A Question of Choice."

Second, consider volunteering your time or money to organizations that empower women and work tirelessly to safeguard the rights we have fought so long to have.

Third, consider commemorating the day with like minded people at Planned Parenthood of Central Oklahoma's Roe v. Wade event.

Where: Oklahoma City Community Foundation
1000 N. Broadway, OKC
When: January 22nd from 6-8 p.m.
What: Food, drinks, and guest speaker Dr. Carol Mason - assistant professor of English and Women and Gender Studies at OSU.
Admission is $10.
RSVP to by January 21st.

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