Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Blog for Choice 2013: More than my uterus

Nanako Tamaru, Guest Blogger (Boston University Law Students for Reproductive Justice)
This post is part of Blog for  Choice 2013, launched by the Boston Students for Sexual and Reproductive Justice (BSSRJ).

I am a 30 year old woman, unmarried and child free.  Over the past 12 years, I have lived an amazing life of independence and adventure.  I have moved across the country; I have travelled abroad.  I have lived with reckless abandon and I have lived with passion.  Don’t get me wrong – while I may have been a free wandering soul, I am also incredibly ambitious and focused; it has just taken me a while to find the right path.  Someday, I hope to be both a wife and a mother; granted a fiercely independent, feminist, and well-educated wife and mother.  I am just a woman that likes to move at my own pace.

As a law student, I understand that Roe v. Wade is a fairly narrow ruling; the Supreme Court upheld the right to privacy as justification for the legality of abortion.  At face value, the ruling only addresses abortion – the court does not make decisions about contraception or gender equality more generally.  But, symbolically, the ruling speaks volumes about women’s rights in the United States – in fact, the Roe v. Wade decision tells the story of my life and the lives of countless other women and the freedoms and privileges that we enjoy.

Roe respects my body as my temple. Roe supports the notion that I am capable of making decisions and acting autonomously. Roe understands that while my mother had 2 children at my age, I am simply not yet ready for that type of life.

I am incredibly thankful for these rights and privileges; not just those strict legal rights, like the right to privacy, I feel a deep gratitude for the social and cultural transformation that has taken shape across the bodies of our mothers, our grandmothers, our heroes. Roe v. Wade is an important reflection of this greater fight and also highlights how much work remains.

Despite being forty years on, abortion and reproductive rights are still at the forefront of our domestic social and political discourse.  At times, it’s hard to believe that we have come so far to gain so little.  Yet, it is times like these that I remind myself – I am a single, 30 year old woman and I still have my entire life in front of me.

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