Editor, Daily Nexus,

As a young, educated, sexually active woman, I believe that it is important to speak out in support of women’s reproductive rights and do all we can to protect them. At present, I think women’s rights require defending more than ever.

Yesterday, our nation commemorated the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal in the United States. However, this historic victory for women’s equality remains under constant attack by right-wing hardliners more than three decades later.

Last year, for the first time since Roe, the U.S. Supreme Court defied over 30 years of precedent and voted 5-6 to uphold an abortion ban signed into law by President Bush, without including an exception for women’s health. Emboldened by this decision, states around the country have introduced dozens of restrictions on abortion, threatening women’s health and safety. Now, 21 states are poised to outlaw abortion should the Supreme Court overturn Roe.

It frightens me to think that politicians are attempting to take a highly personal, medical decision away from women and their doctors and place it into the government’s hands.

Before Roe, thousands of women died in the U.S. because of dangerous, self-induced and illegal abortions. History demonstrates that banning abortion does not end its occurrence. According to the Center for Reproductive Rights, if Roe were overturned, low-income women wishing to terminate a pregnancy would suffer the greatest impact and would be faced with the fewest options. This is not a life I want for myself or my future children.

Please, support laws that protect the health and safety of all women.

To learn more about the continued importance of Roe and what you can do to protect it, join UCSB’s VOX: Voices for Planned Parenthood on Jan. 30 for “35 Years of Choice.”