“Not Every Ejaculation Deserves A Name” was one of the slogans of choice on bumper stickers and pins this weekend, during the 34th Anniversary Celebration of Roe v. Wade.
UCSB’s Voices for Planned Parenthood (VOX) hosted the rally in Anisq’Oyo’ Park this past Saturday, and presented live music, various speakers and a variety of information booths all of which promoted continued support for legalized abortion.
Roe v. Wade was a U.S. Supreme Court ruling made Jan. 22, 1973, that granted women the right to privacy and, consequently, the right to terminate pregnancy legally.
Various tables from organizations such as Planned Parenthood, Sexinfo and the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center lined the back rim of the park while hot pink signs that read “Stop the War On Choice” and “Keep Your Laws Off My Body” decorated the park’s stage.
A few students scattered throughout the park paused to eat lunch or meander through and collect free condoms.
VOX Co-Chair Jasmine Wetherell, a second-year English major, said support for the court case’s ruling is crucial in the current political climate.
“With the actions of the Bush Administration, the surge of neoconservatism and a Supreme Court Justice saying Roe should be reversed, we have to remember that Roe still matters,” Wetherell said.
VOX, which was revived last quarter, meets weekly to discuss Pro-Choice activism and sexual education on campus.
At the event, speakers also addressed one of the Bush Administration’s policies, dubbed by opponents as the “Global Gag Rule.” The policy prohibits U.S. funding from being awarded to family planning agencies in developing countries that provide abortion services or lobby for legalized abortion. January 22 was the fifth anniversary of the “gag rule.”
Another topic discussed at the event was the alleged denial of funding for the United Nations Population Fund. According to a brochure handed out at the event, in 2002 President Bush withheld $34 million from the UN Population Fund, an allotment that would have funded birth control and promoted education about HIV/AIDS prevention around the world.
VOX Co-Chair Natalie, a third-year sociology and art history major, said Roe v. Wade needs to be continually remembered to ensure the future of reproductive rights.
“A lot of people do not believe abortion should be legal; they want it overturned,” Natalie said. “This is our way of fighting.”
Since Roe v. Wade passed in 1973, there have been several attempts to overturn the court ruling. Most recently, on Feb. 24, 2006, South Dakota passed a bill to make abortions illegal, except when the mother’s life is endangered because of the pregnancy. The bill was signed into law in March 2006; however, it was repealed in November.
In addition, Proposition 85 came to a vote during the October 2006 election. Though the proposition did not pass, it would have required doctors to notify a minor’s parents before performing an abortion.