More on Women’s Reproductive Rights: Words from the Front Lines

Friend and regular reader Phyllis had a strong reaction to my post about the Florence Crittenden Homes, and the cruelty toward young women giving birth outside of marriage. She responded in the Comments section. With her permission, I post her Comment here in full, as not all of you read that part of the blog. I think her reflections are particularly important, coming as they do from the front lines.

I have a lot to say about this. I began my nursing practice in the early 60’s when birth control was scarce (at least for low-income or unmarried women) and abortion was illegal. Later I worked in a city hospital in NYC, when the federal government started subsidizing contraceptives and family planning clinics. Big relief for women who had not had any way to control unplanned pregnancies. I also took care of and saw women die from self-attempted abortions done with coat hangers or Lysol douches, or unclean back-alley abortions. I started getting scared several years ago when a few GOP presidential candidates started making noises about banning contraceptives that “cause abortions.” Then we got the “Hobby Lobby bill” which exempted employers with “religious convictions” from having to cover “abortion causing” contraceptives in their insurance plans. Thank you, Supreme Court. Apparently, Trump and the religious right want to expand this. Of course, covering Viagra is fine. For a long time I thought we were OK – the public would never let Roe be overturned. At this point I don’t think we should take anything for granted. States have chipped away at the regulations, and quite a few areas now have no or greatly reduced services. Planned Parenthood and other contraceptive clinics are constantly under attack. If you believe in the right to access and choice, keep resisting!”

I can only echo Phyliis’s words: Keep resisting!

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