Where is the abortion rights movement headed?

It’s such a pleasure to see a woman be able to use her talents and succeed, you know? And then when I see a policewoman directing traffi...


It’s such a pleasure to see a woman be able to use her talents and succeed, you know? And then when I see a policewoman directing traffic, for example, I always give her a wave and say thank you.

Then, of course, there is the broader criticism of modern feminism: that it has become diluted by its universality and even co-opted by capitalist forces. How would you react?

Feminism is not a public relations tactic. It is a human rights revolution.

Do you feel that the abortion rights movement today has the same level of coherence or leadership as it did 50 years ago?

It’s much, much, much more consistent. We were creating our own bottom-up movement. We didn’t have comprehensive medical systems, for example, in New York State and other states dedicated to reproductive freedom. We had “Jane“, an underground network to provide abortion services when it was still illegal. We don’t have to do that anymore.

What political action would you say is imperative for feminists to take today?

We are not here to judge ourselves. We’re just trying to help each other do the best we can. But feminism, and just a belief in simple equality, affects everything we do. It affects who we vote for. It affects the type of education we give our children. It affects the family because the family is our first experience of hierarchy or lack thereof. Family democracy is what builds a main source of the country’s democracy.

You quoted once Susan B. Anthony saying“Our job is not to make young women grateful. It’s to make them ungrateful. What do you hope has made young women ungrateful?

Nothing less than full equality, opportunity, the ability to pursue their dreams.

I think we have made progress. I mean, back in the late ’60s when there was the very first talk about abortion, to my knowledge, anyway, here in New York, just women standing up and telling the stories of their abortions were revolutionary. It has changed a lot.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Where is the abortion rights movement headed?
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