|Most know me as a tough feminist lawyer and women’s rights advocate. I’ve been working for decades with spectacular women who have inspiring and courageous stories and cases. But because of your tremendous past support of NOW – on this very important Giving Tuesday, I want to share my story with you.
When I was on vacation in my 20s, a man I barely knew held me at gunpoint and raped me. I thought no one would believe my story; and later when I found out I was pregnant, I knew I needed to have an abortion. This was a time before Roe v. Wade where it was a crime for a licensed health care professional in many states to perform an abortion. Like millions of women did in those days – I went to have a back alley abortion – performed by a non-licensed healthcare provider. It nearly killed me.
I was left in a bathtub hemorrhaging. At some point I developed a very high fever and had to be taken to the hospital. “I hope this teaches you a lesson”, the nurse said to me as I recovered. I don’t know what lesson she thought that was going to teach me, but the lesson I did learn was that abortion should be legal, affordable, safe, and available to all women.
That’s why I’m supporting NOW in their 2018 Stand Up! Speak Up! Matching Gift Challenge, where you can double your impact to help women maintain a woman’s right to choose. We have a goal to raise $25,000 by MIDNIGHT TONIGHT to stand our ground in this violent war on women and our rights.
Even though it is now safer to have an abortion, the anti-choice forces have never stopped trying to reverse Roe v. Wade and they have already been successful in significantly restricting abortion rights in many states. We are now at a point where we have to ask ourselves once again: are we are going to allow abortions to be carried out safely, or are we going to put women’s lives at risk to have abortions with back-alley providers? It’s wrong. It’s dangerous. And as someone who was one of the many who had to have an illegal abortion, I never want anyone – daughters, granddaughters, sisters, or aunts – to have to take the risk of being maimed or possibly dying from an illegal abortion.
This is not an academic issue, this is a real-life issue involving the life and death of women.
With the confirmation of Justice Kavanaugh, we now have a newly constituted U.S. Supreme Court with a potential 5-4 vote against legal and safe abortion access. We are more at risk now than we have been for decades now that Roe v. Wade could be overturned or significantly restricted in its application. Now is the time for us to unite to ensure it is upheld.
None of us can do this alone – we need organizations like NOW to be there to organize, to protest, and to advocate. Wherever and whenever these rights have been at risk, NOW has helped women speak up and speak out about preserving the legal right to choose. It’s a tough battle and we need organizations like NOW to have the funding to continue this battle.
Will you join me in supporting NOW and make your DOUBLED contribution today? We’re close to our goal of $25,000 by midnight tonight, but we’re not there yet.
NOW has always understood what is at stake and has always been fully committed on this issue. That’s why for decades I have been a supporter of NOW – whether it was as president of the LA Chapter of NOW in the 70’s or just a member today.
Thank you for all you have done – and continue to do – to champion women’s rights.