As Roe v Wade, the Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion rights, turned 40 early this year, an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found that 7 out of 10 Americans want the law to stand. Those who believe otherwise, though, have been working to make abortion access difficult in many states, and are reportedly preparing a case that will lead back to the Court and potential repeal of Roe v Wade.
Enter the activists. They include the staff and countless volunteers for Planned Parenthood, the forces of groups like Trust Women Silver Ribbon campaign, the people of National Abortion Federation, National Organization of Women and…
NARAL Pro-Choice America. NARAL Pro-Choice is the one that’s drawn the interest and energies of Lisa Lindelef, one of the panelists on the Commonwealth Club of California’s October 17th program, Women at Risk: What’s Ahead for Reproductive Rights. She’ll be adding the perspective of a long-time activist to that of other panelists; if you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area, come join the discussion. Lisa currently serves on the board of the NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation, whose mission is “to support and protect, as a fundamental right and value, a woman’s freedom to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices through education, training, organizing, legal action, and public policy.”
About her personal motivations, and decision to work with NARAL, Lisa has this to say:
“I’ve been involved with the pro-choice and reproductive rights movement since before Roe, ever since I saw young women I knew “disappear” and never reappear. As choice gradually, and now increasingly, has become threatened by restrictions designed to weaken the Roe decision without actually undoing it, I decided it was time to put serious time and resources into the fight. The pro-choice coalition has many admirable and steadfast members but NARAL Pro-Choice America has been, and remains, the political leader of the pro-choice movement. With its combined state and federal organization structure, it is uniquely positioned to lead the fight to protect a woman’s right to choose.
Since 1973, safe and legal abortion has been offered by physicians across the U.S., including members of Physicians for Reproductive Health, and through clinics maintained by Planned Parenthood and other groups such as the Feminist Women’s Health Centers in Atlanta, GA and Washington. Those who oppose abortion rights have been whittling them away, state by state, through restrictive laws and regulations, putting women with unintended pregnancies often at considerable risk; having been one of those women in the days before 1973, I know the risks.
Which is why I applaud the activists for choice like Lisa Lindelef.