NY Times Style Section: Where to Pass the Torch?

March 8, 2009 § 3 Comments

There’s a fascinating article in the Sunday Styles section of the New York Times today that basically asks us (otherwise known as Generation B) if we are up to the task of becoming the next abortion activists our country needs. 

But here is the question: As Ms. Baker’s generation approaches retirement — women whose commitment to abortion was forged in the pre-Roe v. Wade days — will younger women take their places at the clinics?

“We worry about that a lot,” said Sally Burgess, executive director of the Hope clinic, who is also chairwoman of the National Abortion Federation, the main professional support group for abortion providers. “Younger women have always had access to abortion care, they don’t fully appreciate the battle that was fought to have it available to them. And more important, I don’t think they know how precarious the option is at this point, even with Obama’s election.”

As an amateur abortion activist of this so-called Generation B, I believe that my pro-choice peers and I are up to the task of not only knowing “how precarious the option is,” but of battling the anti-choice forces out there to maintain and create choice. We have the power of knowledge of those who came before us. For me, that is a huge part of the beauty of third wave feminism. Us third wavers can learn from the trials and tribulations of those in the first and second waves. If Sally Burgess was talking about us pro-choice activists of the third wave when she expressed her hesitation, she has very little to worry about. Though we have had more access to abortion care than her generation, we are not ignorant of what it took to get us that care. Growing knowledge of the history of abortion rights has been made available to us and my hope is that us feminists are paying close attention to what has worked and has not worked in the past. That way, we can use the knowledge of the abortion activists of the ’60s and ’70s to aid us in our own actions.


§ 3 Responses to NY Times Style Section: Where to Pass the Torch?

  • mirandanyc says:

    Sounds like a great article – but since when is commentary on social justice, generational analysis, and political activism a Style? Put this stuff where it belongs, NYT.

  • shira says:

    Unfortunately, this commentary has been included in the Styles section for a VERY long time. In my bi-weekly readings of the two Styles sections NYT has, I have stumbled across articles on transexuality, heteronormativity, and the wage gap (posts on all of the above are to come 🙂

    The Times, quite simply, has an issue with confusing the generational (i.e. news) with what’s in style. Little do they seem to know that it is degrading to abortion activists to include them in a section that is supposed to focus on what is in fashion. The thing is, I — and most feminists out there — don’t want abortion activism to follow the same trend the rain boots featured on the next page will surely pursue.

    I don’t want feminism to go out of style, NYT, so why not feature it in a section that claims lasting activism?

  • […] response to the Times asking if young women should be passed the reproductive rights torch and us replying that we are more than up to the task. From Feministing: Sally Burgess, executive director of the […]

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