Generation Roe: Have We Always Known Roe Was an Aberrance Only Two Generations Would Experience?

I was born in 1974, nearly 18 months to the day after Roe. The women of my generation, along with the following generation, have been shaped by access to legal abortion and the subsequent guarantee of full personhood. The birth control pill, first approved by the FDA in 1960, promised reproductive autonomy, but abortion rights helped make it true.

As we approach the overturning of Roe, the women of Generation Roe must continue to speak out and join forces with other generations of activists to ensure we will not be the only ones to have experienced full personhood, unencumbered by laws seeking to define all women as mothers whose interests are subsumed by their children, born and unborn.

Fetal Rights or Women’s Rights?

The fundamental question at stake in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health is not the future of abortion access—but whether or not women count as equal citizens under the law.

What happens when the rights of the unborn prevail over those of living, breathing, working, loving and dreaming women and girls? Historically, women and girls suffer dire health, emotional, economic, career and personal consequences.

The Supreme Court’s Vision of Equality Likely Means the End of Abortion Rights—But It Could Mean Much More

During last week’s oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson, many Supreme Court justices said nothing about equality at all—but Justice Amy Coney Barrett stood out. She suggested that people relied on abortion “as a backup form of birth control in case contraception fails” because they wanted to avoid the burdens of both pregnancy and parenting.

If the Court is ready to put an end to Roe, the conservative majority might also try to redefine what the Constitution means when it comes to equality of the sexes.

The Government Has a Long History of Controlling Women—One That Never Ended

Abortion is not (just) a health issue. Whether we are willing to let women and people capable of becoming pregnant control their own bodies, for health or any other reason, is an equity issue—a question of who deserves bodily autonomy and freedom to reach their full potential.

Ultimately, abortion bans and restrictions are part of broader legal and societal structures that were unambiguously designed to not recognize women’s inherent equality.

A Devastating Supreme Court Decision on Sexual Assault Shows Why the U.S. Needs the ERA Now

When she was a college freshman in 1994, Christy Brzonkala was gang-raped by two students at Virginia Tech. Brzonkala turned to a law newly passed called the Violence Against Women Act—and her case made it to the Supreme Court, where women’s right to equal protection from violence ultimately died.

When passed, the Equal Rights Amendment would spark Congress to enact new laws on gender violence, including redrafting the Violence Against Women Act civil rights remedy, and chart a path to overturn Brzonkala’s devastating decision.

“An Inclusive Constitution”: Professor Julie Suk on the Equal Rights Amendment

The Equal Rights Amendment is now one floor vote in the Senate away from finally becoming the 28th Amendment to the US Constitution.

Julie Suk’s recent book, “We the Women: The Unstoppable Mothers of the Equal Rights Amendment,” charts the legal, historical and political significance of the ERA’s current resurgence, enabled by generations of women who have fought for the ERA.

Fighting for Pay Equity: A Q&A with Lilly Ledbetter and the Filmmaker Telling Her Story

When Lilly Ledbetter, a longtime manager at Goodyear, discovered her salary was significantly lower than her male colleagues, she took the company to court. While her case was overturned at the Supreme Court, her hard work finally paying off when President Barack Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 into law as his first official act.

Now, Lilly’s life and her case are going to be the subject of “Lilly,” a feature film, directed by Rachel Feldman and starring Patricia Clarkson. Ms interviewed Ledbetter and Feldman about their exciting project.