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Roe v. Wade Anniversary: Blog for Choice Day

By Tracey Minella

January 22nd, 2013 at 7:07 pm

Today is the 40th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic Roe v. Wade decision giving women the right to choose and legalizing abortion.

It’s also the Eighth Annual “Blog for Choice” Day which is designed to get people talking about reproductive rights online in their blogs and social media. Bloggers and activists have been encouraged to tell their stories about what reproductive choice means to them.

Let me start by saying that this is my personal opinion, and may not necessarily reflect the opinions of Long Island IVF doctors, staff, or patients. And let me follow that quickly with a promise that this blog will focus not on the right to an abortion, but rather on the right to choose to have an abortion or to choose not to have an abortion. It’s about reproductive choice, in general.

Most of today’s infertility patients are too young to remember this case and have consequently grown up enjoying…and possibly taking for granted… the freedom of choice they’ve always known existed. Some infertility patients are vehemently opposed to abortion; others may lean against it, but find it acceptable in limited circumstances. Some patients admit they’d have considered abortion if they’d accidentally gotten pregnant before they were ready to. Other patients have exercised that very right at some prior point in their lives.

We are all entitled to our opinions and should do our best not to judge those whose views differ from our own. But on this important anniversary, regardless of whether you are pro-life or pro-choice, I invite you all to think about two things:

First, as infertile women, can we afford to have any of our reproductive rights taken away? Can we afford to lose ground just when we are gaining momentum with legislation like the recent Family Act bill (that’s being tweaked for reconsideration) which may finally give infertile couples a substantial federal tax credit to assist with the costs of IVF?

Second, can we sit back silently and assume that the flurry of recent so-called “Personhood Amendments” proposed in several states will continue to be defeated? Such amendments seek to do more than affect the right to choose an abortion. By redefining when life begins, and pushing that moment back in time…prior to implantation even… these amendments would effectively make procedures like IVF and cryopreservation not only inaccessible, but illegal. The momentum of those movements on the state level has not subsided as we see from this week’s news that Oklahoma has filed the first proposed “Personhood Amendment” of the spring session http://bit.ly/10FHKyd. Such social issues were a big part of this past presidential election and, for some people, they were the deciding factor.

Women need to have reproductive rights and choices. They are entitled to choose how and when…and if or if not… to build their families. Anything that seeks to limit or remove reproductive rights is a threat to the future of those who will need to use assisted reproductive technologies like IVF in order to become mothers. I’m thankful for the choices I had.

I can’t imagine how I’d face my (IVF) daughter if she too should need IVF to get pregnant someday…and her right to choose to access the very technology that created her own life was no longer available. Or if your right to IVF was taken away tomorrow.

There was a saying during the women’s rights movement: “You’ve come a long way, baby.” And they had no idea back then just how far we’d continue to go.

Why in the world would we turn back now?

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How do you feel about Roe v. Wade? How do you feel about reproductive choice? Would you ever consider becoming an advocate for reproductive choice or for legislation supporting infertile couples?

1 comment

  • http://www.facebook.com/jessica.upham.9 Jessica Upham

    even BEFORE I knew I was infertile, abortion would never have been an option for me so I always ALWAYS made sure to use every precaution I had available to me. Having said that, I would never think any less of a woman for making a decision that is rightfully hers, even AFTER I found out I couldn’t conceive naturally!