Today marks the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that protected women’s right to make personal medical decisions, including the right to have an abortion.
One-third of women in the United States will have an abortion by the age of 45. The overwhelming majority of those who choose abortion do so because it’s economically the best decision for their families. Yet the constitutional protection for women’s rights to choose recognized by Roe v. Wade now faces new threats from politicians.
Access to abortion is a fundamental human right. A woman’s right to choose a safe and legal abortion is also part of the Democratic Party’s platform. Voters often evaluate candidates for public office on the basis of their abortion stances. Yet at the fourth Democratic presidential debate, on Jan. 17, contenders were not asked a single question on the topic. As a black woman who has had an abortion, I find this deeply disappointing. Similarly, President Barack Obama did not mention the fight to protect reproductive rights in his final State of the Union address. This raises the question, Are Democrats taking this issue and voter support for granted?