by Carissa Wolf
Botched procedures, needless deaths and fear often accompanied women’s reproductive decisions. That was pre-Roe v. Wade. And some things have changed
Forty years ago, the hallmark Roe v. Wade decision brought abortions out of the back alley, and today, women are celebrating with an event that marks the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision and reinforces the importance of reproductive freedom.
Advocates from Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest will host a public event this evening, highlighting gains made in reproductive freedom and celebrating access to safe, legal abortions.
“As a leading women’s health care provider and advocate in Idaho, PPGNW understands that abortion is a deeply personal and often complex decision for a woman to consider if and when she needs it,” said Christine Charbonneau, CEO, PPGNW. “A woman should have accurate information about all her options around her pregnancy. To protect their health and the health of their families, women must have access to safe, legal abortion services without interference from politicians, as protected by the highest court.”
In 1965, illegal abortions made up nearly one-fifth of all pregnancy- and childbirth-related deaths. Today, less than 0.3 percent of women who undergo a legal abortion procedure experience complications, according to Planned Parenthood. But women’s rights advocates say that safety and women’s ability to make their own medical decisions are continuously threatened by legislative efforts to restrict access to reproductive health care.
“A majority of Americans oppose efforts to overturn Roe v. Wade, and in November, they voted to protect a woman’s ability to make her own personal medical decision without interference from politicians,” said Hannah Brass Greer, legislative director and Idaho Team lead of PPVNW.
Idaho has some of the toughest restrictions on abortion access, according to Planned Parenthood. Limited providers, mandatory waiting periods and a 20-week abortion ban place undue burden on women and restrict health care access, women’s groups say. Last legislative session, lawmakers nearly passed a measure requiring pre-abortion ultrasounds amid widespread opposition before the bill was yanked and abandoned for the session.
“Legislators who continue to interfere with a woman’s access to safe and legal abortion do so against the will of their constituents,” Brass Greer said.
This evening's event is slated for 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Beside Bardenay on Boise's Basque Block.