We Heart: Amanda Gorman’s Eight Reasons to Stand Up Against Abortion Bans

“Women have and will always seek their own reproductive destinies.”

“Pregnancy is private and personal decision and should not require the permission of any politician,” said Gorman in 2019. (Peter Stevens / Flickr)

National Youth poet Amanda Gorman has always used the art of poetry to speak on issues such as race, feminism and oppression. Gorman recently made news by reciting her original poem “The Hill We Climb” at the presidential inauguration of Joe Biden, becoming the youngest known inaugural poet in history.

And in 2019, she demonstrated her commitment to poetry as activism in a video from NowThis News, where she discussed the importance of keeping abortion legal and stated eight reasons why we should “stand up … against abortion bans in the United States.”

Eight Reasons to Stand Up Against Abortion Bans Today, According to Amanda Gorman

  1. When the penalty for rape is less than the penalty for abortion after the rape, you know this isn’t about caring for women and girls. It’s about controlling them.”
  2. “Through forcing them into motherhood before they’re ready, these bans steadily sustain the patriarchy, but also chain families in poverty and maintain economic inequality.”
  3. “Pregnancy is a private and personal decision and should not require the permission of any politician.”
  4. “For all time, regardless of whether it’s a crime, women have and will always seek their own reproductive destinies. All these penalties do is subdue women’s freedom to get healthy, safe services when they most need them.”
  5. “Fight to keep Roe v. Wade alive. By the term ‘overturn Roe v. Wade‘, the main concern is that the Supreme Court will let states thwart a woman’s path to abortion with undue burdens.”
  6. “One thing is true and certain: These predictions aren’t a distortion, hypothetical, or theoretical. Women already face their disproportion of undue burdens when seeking abortions. If the sexes and all people are to be equal, abortion has to be actually accessible and not just technically legal.”
  7. “Despite what you might hear, this right here isn’t only about women and girls. This fight is about about fundamental civil rights. Women are a big part of it, but at the heart of it are freedom over how fast our families grow goes farther and larger than any one of us. It’s about every single one of us.”
  8. “This change can’t wait. We’ve got the energy, the moment, the movement, and the thundering numbers.”

The then-21-year-old National Youth Poet Laureate caps off the video with this soaring testimony of hope and motivation to keep fighting:

“The alt-right’s biggest blunder is that most Americans aren’t under their impression that a woman’s body is up to them to decide. So when you’re outraged, these lawmakers are terrified. They want our tide to lose hope, to back up, pack up, and go home, so don’t. We won’t. We are never alone when we fight fire with feminism.

“So go, be unafraid. We will not be delayed, we will not be masquerade to the tale of a handmaid. We will not let Roe v. Wade slowly fade because when we show up today, we’re already standing up with the tomorrow we made.”

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Red Rosenberg is a former intern and current contributor at Ms.They are an autistic nonbinary lesbian. They prefer to go by they/them pronouns. They graduated from Los Angeles Pierce College in June 2020. They hold an associate of arts for transfer degree in journalism and two associates of arts degrees for arts and humanities, and social and behavioral science, respectively. They have previously worked at Pierce College's Bull Magazine and Roundup Newspaper.