Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Poster of the Day

Things from the 70s
The Pro-Choice Public Education Project
Offset, circa 1999
Port Chester, New York
Full Poster Text: 
Of All the Things from the 70s to make a comeback, there's one we really hate to see.  Reproductive rights are under attack.  The Pro-Choice Public Education Project.  It's pro-choice or no choice.  1(888)253-CHOICE or www.protectchoice.org

The first three items in the poster:  the Volkswagon “Bug,”  Lava Lamp, and platform shoes, have clearly come back.  But the poster warns against the need to resort to the coat hanger—for too many years the primary symbol of illegal, dangerous, and often, out of desperation, self-induced abortions .  During the decades that abortions were illegal, the coat hanger was one of the most common tools used to cause a miscarriage or abortion, but they often damaged the fetus, perforated the uterus, and led to the sterility or death of the woman.

On January 22, 1974—40 years ago today—the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that abortion was legal in Roe v. Wade.  New data from a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll show that seven in 10 Americans believe Roe v. Wade should stand, but the ruling continues to generate rage and action among those who oppose abortion.
Other controversial issues decided by the Court—such as school integration (Brown v Board of  Education, 1953) or invalidating laws prohibiting interracial marriage (Loving v. Virginia, 1967), are not only accepted by the vast majority of the country, but many even find it hard to believe that such racist laws ever existed.  The decreasing number of anti-choice extremists have become more desperate but also more strategic.  In the past, abortion providers have been shot, sometimes killed, and abortion clinics bombed or burned.   Rather than trying to overthrow Roe v Wade—their ultimate goal—the anti-abortionists are focusing on making abortion increasingly inaccessible, unavailable and unaffordable, by passing local state laws which do everything from mandating  waiting periods, to requiring that clinics have the same staffing levels or equipment systems as hospitals.  This strategy is clearly expressed by Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life, an anti-abortion law firm that works with state groups on local legislation:
"I don't need a constitutional amendment to overturn Roe. Clinic regulations do actually challenge Roe."
In 2011, opponents of abortion rights won passage of a record 92 measures restricting the procedure in 24 states, and in 2012, an additional 43 restrictive measures were passed in 19 states.

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