School Nursing

The Relentless School Nurse: A Lifetime of Reproductive Choice Ended

Being a child of the 60s and a teen of the ’70s gives me a unique view of this country’s last genuinely turbulent time. So much was at stake, reproductive freedom, environmental justice, voting rights, wage justice, civil rights, Vietnam, freedom from nuclear war, assassinations and assassination attempts of leaders, and hijacking of airplanes. Sounds eerily familiar to today, minus a few exceptions, like plane hijacking.

I got my period around the time that Roe vs. Wade was determined as law of the land. The irony is not lost on me that as it is stripped away, I am in full-blown menopause. I had a lifetime of reproductive choices. What a privilege and what a disgrace that it is being denied to women and people who can get pregnant who come after me. 

Fifty years of freedom that generations of people who have the anatomy to get pregnant have known nothing but choice. It seems this term, choice, has become one of the most supercharged words in recent memory. As COVID has continued to rage, freedom of choice and parental choice were terms often thrown around to end specific public health mitigation measures like masking, quarantining, and vaccine mandates. Freedom of choice is often the excuse given for those who purchase arsenals of weapons under the guise of protection and safety. 

But somehow the freedom to choose to have an abortion, an act of healthcare, is now being denied to millions and millions of people. Freedom of choice is an American ideal, so how is it regulated by a small number of the most powerful in the land who have an agenda that the majority of the nation does not support. It is akin to the gun safety debate that has raged for decades. What changed this time beyond another horrific series of mass murders involving children was unrelenting public pressure. 

Here is an interesting article from Vox: What Americans think about abortion, in 3 charts Americans overwhelmingly support abortion rights, but vary on the specifics.

Nearly one-in-five U.S. adults (19%) say that abortion should be legal in all cases, with no exceptions. Fewer (8%) say abortion should be illegal in every case, without exception. By contrast, 71% either say it should be mostly legal or mostly illegal, or say there are exceptions to their blanket support for, or opposition to, legal abortion. 

There appears to be a marked difference between public policy and public opinion when it comes to abortion regulations, similar to gun safety legislation. This division is most likely driven by special interest groups that often hold the golden ticket to filling election coffers. Isn’t it past time that lobbyists and special interest groups end their stranglehold on the health and wellbeing of the constituents of our country? Follow the money, it always leads to the truth.

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