April 22, 2010

THE YOUNG AND THE POWERFUL:

Remember Roe!: How can the next generation defend abortion rights when they don't think abortion rights need defending? (Sarah Kliff, 4/16/10, NEWSWEEK)

So if Democrats won't stand strong for abortion rights, who will? The predicament weighed particularly heavily on NARAL Pro-Choice America, the country's oldest abortion-rights group. Founded in 1969 as the National Association for Repeal of Abortion Laws, NARAL has helped protect Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court case legalizing abortion, against countless legislative challenges. NARAL president Nancy Keenan had grown fearful about the future of her movement even before the health-care debate. Keenan considers herself part of the "postmenopausal militia," a generation of baby-boomer activists now well into their 50s who grew up in an era of backroom abortions and fought passionately for legalization. Today they still run the major abortion-rights groups, including NARAL, Planned Parenthood, and the National Organization for Women.

These leaders will retire in a decade or so. And what worries Keenan is that she just doesn't see a passion among the post-Roe generation—at least, not among those on her side. This past January, when Keenan's train pulled into Washington's Union Station, a few blocks from the Capitol, she was greeted by a swarm of anti-abortion-rights activists. It was the 37th annual March for Life, organized every year on Jan. 22, the anniversary of Roe. "I just thought, my gosh, they are so young," Keenan recalled. "There are so many of them, and they are so young."


All abortion was ever about was women feeling themselves to be empowered. Younger generations don't have to exercise the ultimate power in order to feel that they are equal to men.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 22, 2010 12:35 PM
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