WHEN I SAT DOWN TO WRITE THIS, I was feeling a kind of runner's euphoria after our recent court victory in Planned Parenthood v. Ashcroft. Federal judge Phyllis Hamilton had just ruled that Attorney General John Ashcroft overreached in demanding hundreds of medical records of abortion patients from six Planned Parenthood affiliates after we challenged the first-ever federal criminal abortion ban last November.
I chose this example as a jumping-off point because it jibes with the upbeat message I'm hearing from activists around the country. While there's no question that the Bush administration, Congress, and some states are waging a war on choice, those very attacks are energizing our movement.
Consider the following: On the scientific front, there are exciting new reproductive health technologies, despite a government that elevates ideology over science. On the legislative front, we are working to pass the new Freedom of Choice Act, which will protect our human and civil right to reproductive choices to bare or beget a child, even if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade and no matter what antichoice zealots do at the state level. College women are fighting like mad to secure over-the-counter status for emergency contraception--because they have a stake in the outcome. A virtual tsunami of online grassroots organizing is being managed by young people. Mid young women and men will be a gale force wind at the March for Women's Lives in Washington, DC, on April 25.
All this positive energy gives me hope that this movement will not just fight back against attacks; rather we will fight forward to advance reproductive rights and access to reproductive health care for all. …