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Defend rights, potluck today

Aspen Times writer

Dear Editor:

Take a step in defending the right to privacy and the right to choose at a potluck meeting at 6 p.m. today (May 13) at 701 Independence Place Common Room, Aspen, corner of Lone Pine and Red Mountain roads (parking on street, not in lot).

Continue the biggest march in U.S. history – 1.15 million strong – the March for Women’s Lives on April 25 in Washington, D.C., to uphold: choice, justice, access, health, abortion, global and family planning. According to event organizers, the American Civil Liberties Union, Black Women’s Health Imperative, Feminist Majority, NARAL Pro-Choice America, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, National Organization for Women and Planned Parenthood Federation, “We can no longer afford to take for granted both a woman’s right to privacy and reproductive rights. Threats to these rights have never been so systematic and coordinated.”

For the first time since the 1973 Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision, the White House and both houses of Congress are controlled by opponents intent on eroding our basic rights through legislation, executive actions and appointments. Since 1995, states have enacted more than 335 anti-choice measures. Eighty-seven percent of counties in the United States have no legal abortion provider.

The Bush administration has twice censored accurate medical information on government Web sites at the behest of anti-choice activists and has signed into law legislation outlawing abortion, for the first time since Roe v. Wade, and criminalizing safe and common medical procedures for the first time in our nation’s history.

If George W. Bush is re-elected president, he would almost certainly appoint at least one Supreme Court justice who would tip the balance in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade. In a 1992 decision, the Supreme Court already sharply reduced its protections.

Choice is about more than the right to a safe legal abortion; it is about human rights, sustainability, global oppression of women, women’s health, sex education, contraception, AIDS programming/funding, etc. This is about women’s lives and the future for us all. The World Health Organization (WHO) identified education of women as the single most significant factor in improving the health of everyone worldwide.

We know that the majority of Americans believe that women, not the government, should be making private health-care decisions, but too many people don’t believe that the threat to their reproductive rights is real. That is why we need to have a call to action to stand up against the far right onslaught and let anti-choice politicians know that they can’t take away our freedom.

In 1963, we marched for the civil rights movement. In 1992, we marched to preserve the right to choose. We have again reached another critical moment, and we must again put on our marching shoes! Please join us for presentations, discussion, organizing and video clips of the march rally and press conference report on the Bush administration’s rhetoric and policies at home and abroad (http://www.globalscorecard.org/). For more information contact: 618-5475 or e-mail to: athomefree@msn.com

In motherhood, liberty, peace and gratitude,

Tricia McKenzie

Aspen


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