Stop Resting on Your Laurels

OK, so it may seem that I am a lazy feminist activist at times, because I work from my apartment writing emails and blogging about issues. And rather than marching on Washington, I joined in the "Virtual March" hosted by Yet I am sure that even small action=action.

The Virtual March allows a person to "add their name to the message to Congress and other elected officials" via online petition. There is still time to join the online campaign during "Trust Women Week," which runs January 20-27, 2012. The march uses an interactive map powered by Google. Each time a person joins the march, a flag shows where that person is located and the number count goes up.

Sunday marked the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, which was an extremely important Supreme Court case that legalized abortion for women in the United States. Check out Martha Burke's interview with Sarah Weddington, the Texan attorney that argued and won the landmark Roe v. Wade case 7-2 in 1973. However, politicians, conservatives and the religious right are constantly trying to overturn Roe today. Can't they keep their laws off of my body? In kindergarten, I was taught to keep my hands to myself. These groups are moving backward. What logic is there in restricting birth control and other pregnancy preventative methods? I lose my mind when I think that Viagra is covered by many men's health insurance policies and widely available, while when it comes to birth control coverage things are a bit murky. Although, at least for now things are a little clearer thanks to President Obama and his administration. On January 20, Obama's administration peeved the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops by announcing, that the cost of birth control for most women employed in the U.S. will be covered without a co-pay, under the Affordable Care Act.

Fortunately, I grew up with the option of a safe and legal abortion. I learned about the "way it was" through viewing documentary films (such as "I had an Abortion") and reading others' stories. A few days ago I read a chillingly honest story on the Mother Jones web site. In "The Way it Was," author Eleanor Cooney shares her own terrifying experience in trying to find an abortion doctor in the 1960s. Yet for me it is as simple as searching 'abortion clinics' or 'Planned Parenthood' on my phone's Internet search engine. (Just do not ask the iPhone 4S assistant, Siri about your options, as she is programmed not to provide those results.

When I accompanied my friend to the clinic, the opposition, thankfully, did not harass us. That is the way it should be: women should not be petrified to get an abortion. Choosing to abort is difficult enough without dealing with spiteful angry mobs.

What can you do? Sign a petition so that Apple fixes Siri's misleading information, join the Virtual March, read and stay informed on the news regarding reproductive rights and laws. Offer to help a struggling girl friend. Spread the word to let others know what you know and how you feel about lawmakers making decisions for your body. So do something, damn it.