Roe v. Wade ending up on the Supreme Court? Women over 50 have a strong impact on the right to abortion

know about Roe v. Wade ending up on the Supreme Court? Women over 50 have a strong impact on the right to abortion

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It is not just women of childbearing age who are fiercely fighting for the right to abortion. Women in their 50s, 60s, 70s and older are taking a strong, principled stand against the potential Supreme Court. overturning landmark abortion decision Roe v. Wade.

Why this particular demographic? For one thing, many of these women lived through the 1973 ruling that gives people the federal constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy. These women witnessed the feminist revolution firsthand and are not going to quietly witness its demise. If the court overrules Roe, it would mean that women and girls today would no longer have the same rights these women, and their grandmothers, had decades ago.

In partnership with Know Your Value and Forbes, we’re highlighting just a few of these women, all 50 and older, fighting for reproductive rights today.

Cecile Richards, 64

Cecile Richards speaks during the Women's March ATX rally on October 2, 2021 at the Texas State Capitol in Austin.
Cecile Richards speaks during the Women’s March ATX rally on October 2, 2021 at the Texas State Capitol in Austin.Stephen Spillman/AP File

For more than a decade, Richards led Planned Parenthood, the leading provider of sexual and reproductive health care, including elective abortion care, in the United States. In 2011 and 2012, she was named one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world.

His work has not stopped. She is currently the co-chair of American Bridge 21st Century, and she is sounding the alarm about the stakes if Roe v. Wade is overruled.

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I talked to a doctor [in El Paso] the other day he spoke about a woman who was unable to obtain a safe and legal abortion in the state of Texas,” Richards recounted. “The closest place she could go was New Mexico, but that would require going through a border checkpoint, which she couldn’t do. These are the real people, these are the real impacts of the people who no longer have the right to determine if and when to have a child. And we’re going to keep seeing these stories again, not just in Texas, not just in Oklahoma but increasingly in half the country. I know that what the American people don’t want to see is not just this right being revoked, but they don’t want doctors and women going to jail.”

briar cabin, 76

Heather Booth, the founder of the Jane Collective, at her home in Washington, DC, on May 27, 2022.
Heather Booth, the founder of the Jane Collective, at her home in Washington, DC, on May 27, 2022.Stefani Reynolds/AFP – Getty Images Archive

Booth has been an organizer since the 1960s.

Her contributions to reproductive rights began before Roe v Wade, when she helped a family friend (who was pregnant and on the verge of suicide) find a doctor to perform an abortion.

She then created the Jane Collective, an underground group of activists who came together in the 1960s to provide thousands of women with abortions at a time when the procedure was still banned.

Since then, she has dedicated her life to speaking out about abortion rights and teaching others how to organize effectively and use activism as a tool to bring about change.

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“Whatever people are doing, whether you’re a teacher or in a company or whatever…even if you’re not working, there are ways to be active, you can tell us your story, storytelling is powerful. It can serve others, you can work on a lobbying effort, you can work on a legislative effort, you can write letters, you can make phone calls, you can run for elections,” Booth told Know Your Value. “You need to build the power of people to defend this most intimate freedom of our lives.”

Isabella Allende, 79

Isabel Allende in Milan on October 22, 2015.
Isabel Allende in Milan on October 22, 2015.File by Leonardo Cendamo/Getty Images

Allende is best known for her many best-selling novels, including “The House of the Spirits.” But the 79-year-old has also done a lot to promote women’s reproductive rights internationally.

By the time she was 20, Allende was working on a feminist magazine in her native Chile and regularly writing about taboo topics, including abortion. She didn’t begin her professional writing career until she was in her 40s, so much of her writing and her statements about reproductive rights were amplified into her 50s and beyond.

Her nonprofit organization, the Isabel Allende Foundation, has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to organizations that aim to protect women’s reproductive rights.

Nominations for the 2022 Know Your Value and Forbes “50 Over 50” list are open. If you know of a woman who is actively coming into her own power in her sixth decade or older, we’d love to hear from you! Go here for more details.

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