I was born one month after Roe and have lived my entire life in a nation at war with itself. As an activist in my local community, I can see that the battle is not academic but alive and hot and hard-fought on all sides. So today, on the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I’m trying to imagine what it would be like to live in a nation united in support of choice.
I imagine young people being taught comprehensive sex education and growing up empowered to make decisions about their sexual health. I see a reduction in the infection rates for sexually transmitted diseases and an increase in the understanding of risk and the demonstration of responsibility. I envision my fellow women of color talking openly about HIV/AIDS prevention, testing and treatment within our communities. I see women and men embracing the philosophy of family planning, and I see children, families and communities benefiting from that.
The point isn’t made often enough, because in this debate you either fetishize children or you’re a heartless monster, that ignorance helps no one. No one. Not women, not children, not anyone. We are not better people because we shut our minds down and refuse to figure all the angles, because we slam the door on possiblities in hopes that they won’t linger on the doorstep, howling and hungry. We are not serving anyone well, by sitting there humming in the dark.