The woman was screaming into the phone. “How about I tell you what’s under… my sink and in my medicine cabinet and you tell me how to use it.” (“Alias Jane,” by Cindy Wolfe Boynton, MS, Fall, 2018, pg. 39.) She needed an abortion and she needed it soon. The year was 2014. Abortions were legal, but Texas law was so restrictive, it had closed many clinics. The woman at the other end of the phone couldn’t drive 500 miles to reach the nearest one.
Despite Roe v. Wade, a woman continues to struggle to exercise her reproductive rights in this country. Wikipedia lists 24 organizations that support her right to choose, but 79 are hell-bent to prevent her from doing so. That’s a lot of organizations focused on a woman’s vagina. The number speaks only to the United States. Pick a country, almost any country, and a woman’s right to make reproductive decisions for herself gets more challenging. Other rights can be equally hard to come by.
In Australia, women are waking up to the “MeToo” movement. Progress is slow because the country lacks anything close to First Amendment Rights and defamation laws are formidable. (“The Time Is Now,” by An Deslandes, MS, Fall, 2018, pg. 16.) The movement has gained some traction but with little help from the media. One female journalist speculates the reason is, “It’s getting a bit too close to our executives.” (Ibid, pg. 16.)
The need to support women activists exists across the globe. I don’t deny it. Sometimes the demands leaves me feeling battle fatigued. Almost every day, pleas arrive in my mailbox from any number of the 24 organizations dedicated to women’s rights: the National Abortion Rights League, the National Abortion Federation, the National Coalition for Abortion Providers, the National Organization for Women, the National Partnership for Women and Families, and Planned Parenthood to name some.
The plethora of well-intended non-profits leaves me with an agonizing dilemma. Shall I give a little to each or more to a few? The question is one I don’t wish to answer.
Has not one of these groups considered consolidating with others — creating fewer bureaucracies with less overhead? If not, maybe it’s time for them to reread stories from their childhood. Specifically, I’m thinking of the one about the goose that laid the golden egg.