Thanksgiving is upon us. You know this because even after four smacks of the snooze button, it’s still pitch-dark outside; Christmas advertisements already run rampant in between football games; and your mother won’t stop emailing you to confirm whether you’re making “that funny pie you burned last year” or something with chocolate.
Recent events have perhaps made this a more reflective and challenging Thanksgiving than others. That reflection ought to surround what we have that others do not (and our proven reticence to share those things with others in need). And while the purpose of this column is to make American women aware of how our reproductive rights are continuously threatened and infringed upon, the fact is that — compared to much of the world — we are quite privileged.
We don’t have to be afraid of being jailed for a miscarriage, for one (although, in practice, that’s not always the case). Abortion is not illegal (although increasingly severe state-level restrictions are making it ever harder to obtain). When we want to get birth control, we can go to a local Planned Parenthood instead of an emergency clinic in the refugee camp (although Republican legislators are fighting tooth and nail to ensure this is no longer possible).
So while there’s plenty still to fight for, we also have a lot to be thankful for. Here’s a roundup of some pieces describing how access to contraception and abortion has markedly improved the lives of women — and how thankful we should be for that.
- In the dedication of her new book, Gloria Steinem beautifully thanks the doctor who risked arrest to end an unwanted pregnancy:
- Lindy West explains why she and her friend Amelia Bonow started the #ShoutYourAbortion Twitter campaign. In Bonow’s words: “I remember this experience with a near inexpressible level of gratitude … The narrative of those working to defund Planned Parenthood relies on the assumption that abortion is still something to be whispered about.”
- In Seattle’s local alt-weekly, The Stranger, find a simple but touching ode to Planned Parenthood and the services it provides.
- From RH Reality Check, Martha Kempner gives a big “thank you” to birth control pills for keeping her child-free for 25 years.
- One is rarely thankful for condoms — they get such a bad (w)rap! But as STDs are on the rise in the United States, now might be the moment to give thanks for them.
P.S. For more reasons why women are thankful for their birth control, check out the #thxbirthcontrol Twitter campaign.