It’s been 45 years since the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, but somehow, the fight over abortion rages on today.
Far from the settled subject one might be led to believe, abortion remains a contentious issue and a driving force in politics. As president, Donald Trump has led the fight against abortion rights, appointing a number of extremist anti-choice judges to federal courts and delivering remarks at the anti-choice “March for Life.”
Still, a majority of Americans believe abortion should be legal — a 2017 Pew survey found that 57% of Americans believe abortion should be legal in “all or most cases,” with just 16% of those polled saying they believe it should be made illegal.
Roe v. Wade marked an important milestone in reproductive health, and pro-choice groups and individuals took to social media to celebrate the occasion.
Planned Parenthood highlighted the fact that the case was argued by then-27-year-old Sarah Weddington, who made history as the youngest person to argue a successful Supreme Court case.
Sarah Weddington was 27 when she argued Roe v. Wade — the youngest person ever to win in the Supreme Court. Today is the 45th anniversary of the landmark case that legalized abortion in the U.S. Young people have the power to change the world. #7in10forRoe #Roe45 pic.twitter.com/F9loNrYJYo
— Planned Parenthood (@PPFA) January 22, 2018
The Center for Reproductive Rights shared a video highlighting the fight for reproductive justice and sharing the stories of individuals who’ve had abortions.
The most heartfelt tweets, however, were those from individuals.
Writers Maureen Shaw and Jessica Valenti opened up about their abortions.
Because abortion is a common, legal medical procedure, yet it is the only form of healthcare vilified and under attack.
Because I’ve had an abortion.
Because women’s bodies shouldn’t be politicized.
— Maureen Shaw (@MaureenShaw) January 22, 2018
Author Jennifer Wright joked about the Trump administration’s recent anti-trans and anti-abortion “moral objections” policy at the Department of Health and Human Services. More seriously, she offered her thoughts on what an abortion “might make possible” for those who need it.
I desperately want to become a mother. But I do not think that becoming a mother is a fundamentally more valuable choice than finishing college, pursuing a career in a chosen field, starting a business, or any of the other paths an abortion might make possible. #7in10forRoe
— Jennifer Wright (@JenAshleyWright) January 22, 2018
NARAL Pro-Choice America president Ilyse Hogue dropped a hard truth: Criminalizing abortions doesn’t eliminate them; it only makes them more dangerous.
Others called out the Trump administration’s hypocrisy, noting that self-described “small government” politicians had a tendency to be a little too interested in micromanaging what someone does with their uterus, or made the (very reasonable) suggestion that we base public policy on things like science.
Strategically placing women in WH/Trump’s Cabinet doesn’t mean we are blind to the attack on women’s reproductive rights.
— nicki 🤓 (@nickiknowsnada) January 22, 2018
I am one of the #7in10forRoe because science, not beliefs, should inform government regulation. Abortion is a safe procedure and I trust women (and other uterus having people) and their doctors to make decisions. Also, idk a woman who was unsure or regretted it after. pic.twitter.com/JuNlFSmwJa
— Aditi Juneja (@AditiJuneja3) January 22, 2018
Others pointed to some underappreciated aspects of legal abortion: In some cases, it’s life-saving.
When writer Mary Elizabeth Williams was diagnosed with cancer, she had to sign a consent form acknowledging that if she became pregnant, she would need to stop treatment.
“I also used birth control, of course, but nothing is foolproof, and rape sometimes happens, too,” she wrote in a Twitter direct message. “For what it’s worth, any other time in my life, any, I’d found myself pregnant, I would have continued with it … But leave my kids without a mom or have an abortion? That would have been a no-brainer.”
Because if I’d become pregnant while in cancer treatment, abortion would have saved my life. Because my daughters deserve a living parent. Because they deserve safe healthcare for themselves. Because I trust women & I trust science. #RoevWade #7in10forRoe https://t.co/XWwzre5Toa
— MaryElizabeth Williams (@embeedub) January 22, 2018
The truth is, as many pointed out, that reproductive health care (including abortion) is health care.
You wouldn’t think this would be a controversial thing to say, but you’d be wrong (which is why it’s so important to say it).
I believe a person can make their own decisions regarding their healthcare. And I don’t want to give that right away to the gov’t.
— Piper Perabo (@PiperPerabo) January 22, 2018
“Every child should be a wanted child,” another Twitter user added. “Every parent should be a willing parent.”
Writer and editor Evette Dionne correctly pointed out that “political attacks on abortion are intimately connected to a lack of access to contraception, sex education, and government assistance.”
“It is a means of shaming the poor, particularly poor women of color,” she added. “We will not go back.”
I am one of the #7in10forRoe because I recognize that political attacks on abortion are intimately connected to lack of access to contraception, sex education, and government assistance. It is a means of shaming the poor, particularly poor women of color. We will not go back. pic.twitter.com/J72GWC895w
— Evette Dionne 🤔 (@freeblackgirl) January 22, 2018
As long as abortion rights are under attack, it’s important that we amplify the voices of reproductive justice.
We may be 45 years into the fight, but it’s far from over.