By Gina Desiderio
May 3, 2022
Bodily autonomy—the right to make decisions about your own body, including decisions about if, when, and how to parent—is a right. None of us are free to live our authentic sexuality without bodily autonomy. And without a doubt, we are facing a crisis of access. The leaked Supreme Court draft decision that would overturn Roe v. Wade only confirms what we have long feared—a person’s right to choose what is best for their body, for their life, may soon be dictated by their state legislature.
The right to bodily autonomy shouldn’t vary by ZIP code. And that goes for adolescents and young adults, too. Young people have a right to quality and comprehensive sexual and reproductive health education and care. Access to both sex education and health care is essential for them to make decisions about their bodies and relationships, and about pregnancy and parenting. Yes, that means abortion, too.
This access is what’s at stake. This draft decision leak isn’t a false alarm. But it also isn’t reality, not yet. Abortion is still legal. And we must fight to keep it that way.
What can you do?
- Call on your elected officials to protect the right to safe, legal abortion at state and federal levels.
- Go to Bans Off Our Bodies, organized by Planned Parenthood, to learn more about the history of access to safe, legal abortion, how our rights are under attack, what’s legal in your state, as well as to find protests and ways to get involved locally.
- Do your research and donate to organizations actively involved in protecting our right to bodily autonomy, such as In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, NARAL, National Abortion Federation, National Women’s Law Center, Planned Parenthood, SisterSong, SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW, and the many, many others.
Gina Desiderio, MA, is Director of Communications for Healthy Teen Network and oversees all of our communications and dissemination. Working here has only sometimes prepared Gina for spontaneous sex-positive conversations with her two young sons. Read more about Gina.