This past weekend marked the 39th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 ruling in Roe v Wade. Yet, in spite of that landmark ruling, women’s health opponents have persisted in their efforts to erode access to sexual and reproductive health care across the country. At the national level, we’re reading daily headlines about the extreme positions that the Republican presidential candidates are taking in opposition to women’s health. And just last year, Congress almost shut down the federal government because they were so intent on defunding Planned Parenthood.
Even our close neighbors to the north are battling to protect funding for essential preventive care, including breast and cervical cancer screenings and birth control. Just last Tuesday, New Hampshire’s House – dominated by Tea Party Republicans – passed a bill that would defund any group that provides abortion services, no matter how that funding is used.
It may seem like a given that we have elected officials at the State House that will protect access to sexual and reproductive health care in Massachusetts. And it’s true that the political battles here often don’t seem as vital as those, for example, cropping up in states across the country where personhood initiatives are attempting to re-define “life” in order to ban abortion as well as many forms of contraception.
The scary reality is, we can’t take abortion rights for granted anywhere, even here in the Commonwealth. In the 2010 election, the MA legislature lost 15 pro-choice seats, and an additional 2 were lost in special elections held in 2011. Meaning, the Massachusetts State Legislature’s pro-choice majority hangs on by just one seat. Yes, one seat. Although it’s been 39 years since Roe was decided, the fight to protect and expand access to sexual and reproductive health care is as important now as ever.
Now you can join the fight. The Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund re-launched www.pplmvotes.org today in order to educate the public about the ongoing and dangerous political attacks on women’s health and to recruit supporters to join the grassroots fight for women’s health in Massachusetts.
The upcoming elections are an important opportunity to increase support for health care access and grow and solidify the pro-choice majority in the Massachusetts legislature. Join the movement to protect women’s health.