Today is the 51st anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision. Until last year’s anniversary, we could commemorate how far we have come in the fight for equality. But now, we are reminded of just how much freedom we have lost.

The overturning of Roe in June 2022 meant a swift and brutal transition for those living in states governed by extremists. Health centers were shuttered. Doctors faced jail time for honoring their Hippocratic oath. And patients were abandoned.

For those who could travel to get the care they needed, it meant fleeing from their homes and across state lines to get abortion care. Often, that brought the threat of a bounty on a spouse or friend who helped them make the trip.

For those who couldn’t travel, it meant enduring a health care system that no longer prioritized their well-being. It meant being forced to continue a pregnancy, no matter the stakes or risks.

In Tennessee, a woman excited to grow her family was denied a lifesaving abortion because a trigger ban had gone into effect that same day. As a result, she had to undergo an emergency hysterectomy — preventing her from ever having another child.

In Oklahoma, a mother of three learned that her pregnancy was nonviable and had resulted in a rare cancer. Still, her doctors’ hands were tied. She was told to wait in the parking lot for her condition to deteriorate before she could get the medical help she needed.

In Florida, a hopeful mom-to-be’s water broke 16 weeks into her pregnancy. She rushed to the emergency room. But the doctors could only offer antibiotics, send her home, and promise to pray for her. She lost half the blood in her body before she could get treatment and escape death.

This is the dangerous, daily reality of Americans living in the 21 states where abortion rights have been restricted or abolished since Roe v. Wade was overturned.

The remaining 29 states make up another America where abortion is still legal and where health care remains the jurisdiction of doctors, not politicians.

But 2024 represents a crossroads where that could change.

Donald Trump and the MAGA Republican Party have made their views clear: They are proud to have denied health care to pregnant women, and they intend to enact a nationwide ban on abortion that voids any state law codifying reproductive rights.

They have already rushed toward that goal with lawsuits seeking to impose a national ban on the abortion pill and overturn the right to receive emergency medical care. The GOP has filed legislation criminalizing interstate travel — while rallying more than 190 House Republicans to vote against access to birth control.

They will not stop until every woman in every state, county and ZIP code is forced to surrender their bodily autonomy to politicians.

When Republicans dismantled our constitutional abortion rights, they struck a catastrophic blow against women’s freedom and dignity — against the very idea that our lives are of equal value. Right-wing abortion bans, book bans and drag bans are all wrapped up in the same dangerous belief that a certain kind of person is more worthy than another.

This year’s election will determine whether that ideology seeps into every corner of the country or whether we start regaining ground toward equality. We must vote for freedom.


Original story HERE