To the editor:
With the federalist society having no doubt vetted Brett Kavanaugh on the basis of its long-standing commitment to overturning Roe v. Wade – whether he will admit so in public or not – women in America will be better served if the Pro-Choice community starts thinking now, rather than later, about mistakes made in the 1950s and 60s – the era Trump wants to take us back to that led to women losing their freedom of choice so we dont repeat those mistakes again.
The situation in the 1950s and '60s was that abortion was illegal, and women sought out doctors and others willing to perform illegal abortions under less-than-ideal circumstances or performed those abortions on themselves.
The State of New York legalized abortion in 1970. Between 1970 and the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, the situation was that many women of some means travelled to New York for abortions while women of less means continued to die from performing their own or having them botched by others.
Roe v. Wade changed that, but it brought on something other than freedom of choice. Yes, women had the right to choose whether to have an abortion or not. What they didn't have was the choice of having the abortion in a hospital where they could go for that legal medical procedure without running the gauntlet of men and women ridiculing and bullying them to change their minds.
Neither of those things should be allowed to happen again. Any women choosing to have an abortion should be able to obtain the means to travel to those states that choose to allow them and to have the procedure done in a hospital where they cannot be easily distinguished from other patients seeking other procedures and bullied into submission to the will of others.
The way to do that, I think, is twofold: 1) the Pro-Choice community can begin now to establish charitable funding sources to allow poor women as well as rich ones to travel to states where abortions remain legal, and 2) we can begin a campaign to pressure as many hospitals as possible to change their policies to allow abortions to be performed in their facilities on routine a basis as necessary to allow women who choose to avail themselves of that freedom to do so.
Robert and Patricia Suchner