by Robert Bell
RALLY FOR REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE
1 p.m. Arkansas State Capitol.
To be certain, there are enormous challenges facing progressive folks in 2013 and beyond. But I really do believe that overall, things are better in the United States than they were in 1973. Still, though, it's extremely worrisome that, 40 years after the Supreme Court established that the right to privacy under the 14th Amendment includes a woman's right to have an abortion, there's such a concerted movement to keep women from exercising control over their own bodies.
In recent years, state legislatures across the South and Midwest have passed draconian laws aimed at curtailing women's autonomy. Candidates for office last year uttered some of the most contemptible — not to mention scientifically specious — garbage about a host of reproductive issues.
That's why it's so critical to stand up to the knuckle-draggers among us (and they are legion in Arkansas) who want women to be subservient, second-class citizens. Ironic that so many of these yahoos scream 'til they're blue in the face about keeping the government out of our lives, unless you're a woman, that is, and then no intrusion is too egregious. Enough soapboxing, though.
Here's a chance for progressives to get together to let themselves be heard. Speakers at this rally include Jessica DeLoach Sabin, Dr. Joycelyn Elders, Sen. Joyce Elliott, Dr. Jay Barth and Rev. Marie Mainard O'Connell giving an invocation. Your attendance at this rally is important, as the anti-choice crowd will be gathering the next day.