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  • Dr. Joan Irvine

Women's Rights to Abortion

UPDATE 05/18/24

I met a delightful 'younger' woman at a party last night. We discussed various chapters of our lives, and our conversation eventually turned to abortion and Roe v. Wade, a topic on many women's minds these days. She is the head of HR for a multi-state company, and she shared how her company, under her leadership and in alignment with their belief in women's rights, decided to cover all expenses—including travel and lodging—for employees seeking an abortion if it is not legal in their home state. A big thanks to her and her employee-centric company for their support and commitment to women's rights.

Two years ago, I attended a Rally for Women’s Rights in Redondo Beach organized by students from Redondo Union High School. It struck me as puzzling that many of the attendees were over 60. However, upon reflection, it became clear that it was the Baby Boomer generation and older individuals who lived in a time when abortions were illegal, prior to Roe vs. Wade. They witnessed firsthand the struggles of seeking illegal abortions.

During my college years at the University of Kansas, like numerous other young women, I kept a list of the scarce traveling abortionists available. I assisted in bringing these women to campus and arranged halfway decent locations for the procedure. Yet, I also had to accompany women to the hospital after botched abortions, tragically witnessing some rendered infertile as a result. Later, while living in Ohio, I drove a woman to New York City, where abortions were legal. For those who could afford it, destinations like Puerto Rico offered options when abortions were outlawed.

Fortunately, younger generations have been spared such harrowing experiences until now. Many fail to comprehend the severity of the past and the devastating impact unexpected pregnancies had on countless lives.

It's disheartening to witness decades of progress and advocacy for women's rights being undermined by conservative, religious, older white men (and their sons) —some of whom may even be contributing to these unwanted pregnancies.

On a related note, drawing from my two decades of work in online child protection technology and managing a child pornography reporting hotline, which was funded by the adult entertainment industry, I discovered a revealing trend. Consumption of pornography is highest in more conservative religious regions, and shockingly, many consumers of sexual child abuse images come from the same demographic—men who are now attempting to restrict women’s rights.

Please, let us not allow this to happen!!! It is your daughters or granddaughters who may suffer the life-altering consequences.



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