After the monumental Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade in 1973 granting women access to abortions constitutionally, there has been a steady controversy surrounding this topic. For decades it has stayed in politics and has been debated. For those who fought so hard for their own reproductive rights, a defense has been put up where the topic is redundant and goes over the same discussions. What Nancy Northup, President and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights says about this topic sums up what many women believe needs to happen in the future. She stated recently in a news release, “We cannot go back to the days before Roe, and we can’t let up in our fight until all women, no matter her zip code, has access to the full range of reproductive health services”. With her strong opinion in mind, she later went on to say, “We have been on the defense for long enough. We harness our collective power to rise up for Roe and expand abortion access to the fullest extent of the dreams of those who fought so hard for this win in 1973.” Northup believes that more progress needs to be made, that there must finally be an expansion of this discussion as well as education and new legislation surrounding women’s reproductive rights.
As for this year and with our current President, our country has been able to see recently the view of a more conservative American and their thoughts on reproductive rights. As this year’s annual March for Life in Washington D.C. was underway, President Trump addressed the march via satellite to say, “We are protecting the sanctity of life and the family as the foundation of our society”. His comments and viewpoints within this presidency have leaned heavily on the pro-life movement and question of legality of reproductive rights. Trump’s remarks have heightened the two-sided controversy within reproductive rights, making Americans know where he stands and that all Americans should stand with him. Donald Trump along with his administration want to keep reproductive rights in the hands of the government and courts, and with his new appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, America may see some changes.
Another change that has been made in the US regarding this topic has been through the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which recently released a draft of their strategic plan . This plan for the first time announced that they believe life begins at conception, and that it needs to be protected. The plan states, “HHS accomplishes its mission through programs and initiatives that cover a wide spectrum of activities, serving and protecting Americans at every stage of life, beginning at conception.” This statement and strategic plan they are set to enforce greatly diminishes the privacy and believes of a great number of American women. These public statements are why so many women are still fighting unbelievably hard for what they know to be their own private rights. There may be many opposers we see today, especially through our President and the Republican-led Congress, that see women’s health and their reproductive choices to be a public and political campaign. With this intent clear in their eyes, women’s health and reproductive rights that must be constitutional rights may not see a bright future at this alarming rate.