“Women have been trained to speak softly and carry a lipstick. Those days are over.” —Bella Abzug
Bella Abzug held office in the House of Representatives some forty years ago, and since then, what she said has been proven: those days are over. Women aren’t being trained to speak softly anymore, at least not uniformly. Outspoken women are allowed to put themselves out there.
When I was a young adult and ready to start on the birth control pill, I found that its cost was not covered by my health insurance. Paying the retail price was onerous. It didn’t seem right that insurance wouldn’t cover contraception, though it did cover the cost of giving birth and possibly even abortion. It just didn’t make any sense.
Now, finally, the federal government is ready to rectify the situation, and make contraception more economically accessible to women and men by requiring health insurance to cover its cost.
A year ago, Washington Jewish Week reported on a new crisis pregnancy center (CPC) called In Shifra’s Arms. Unlike the vast majority of CPCs, which are typically funded and run by Christian organizations or churches, In Shifra’s Arms strives to serve women in the Jewish community.
Being pro-choice means a lot of things: Above all else, it means supporting a woman’s right to choose what happens to her body during pregnancy, abortion included. But because the stigma surrounding abortion is still so, well, stigmatized, “being pro-choice” is often just an amorphous concept (albeit a powerful one) without real faces or stories behind the crusade to ensure women’s rights.
Nothing makes me sadder than the idea that Planned Parenthood would lose its government funding–something that, if some people in Congress get their way, could become a reality. Representative Mike Pence is currently sponsoring a bill that would deny government funding to any organization that provides abortions, regardless if they use government funds to pay for them.
Ruth Proskauer Smith, a longtime women's and human rights activist, passed away last Friday at the impressive age of 102. Smith co-founded the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws, which later became the National Abortion Rights Action League and is today known as NARAL Pro-Choice America.
Today is the 37 anniversary of the Supreme Court's legalization of abortion in the Roe v. Wade decision, and as such, it's also NARAL's 5th annual Blog for Choice Day. The question NARAL has posed for this year is "What does Trust Women mean to you?" And I've chosen to answer this as historians do best -- by dipping into the archives for a story about Jewish women and reproductive rights that goes back much farther than 1973.
Today is the 37th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and to celebrate this occassion, we wanted to discuss one of the more exciting new developments in Choice organizing: the use of social media. Who better to speak on this topic than Gloria Feldt, whose passion for Choice organizing remains strong after 30 years of leadership at Planned Parenthood. Gloria volunteers on the board of the Women's Media Center and the Jewish Women's Archive, and worked as a consultant for Not Under the Bus, a platform and aggregator for the many media campaigns working to combat stop anti-abortion measures in healthcare reform.