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  • Originally published 07/12/2013

    Lisa Levenstein: Public Deserves To Be Heard On Abortion Bill

    Lisa Levenstein is an associate professor of U.S. women’s history at UNCG.Proposed new regulations on abortion providers have nothing to do with protecting women’s health. Nothing demonstrates this quite like the tactics Republican leaders have used to try to ram the legislation through the N.C. General Assembly.At first, draconian abortion restrictions were placed into an anti-Sharia law bill. After public scrutiny began to gather momentum, the new regulations were put into — of all things — a motorcycle safety bill. If advocates are so convinced these new measures are justified, why all the secrecy? Why all the back-room tactics? Why the rush?GOP leaders argued that the legislation formerly known as House Bill 695, the “Family, Faith, and Freedom Protection Act,” would actually protect women by imposing strict new regulations on abortion providers....

  • Originally published 03/18/2013

    Women voted 75 years before they were legally allowed to in 1918

    Sarah Richardson is an Associate Professor in History at the University of Warwick and author of The Political Worlds of Women: Gender and Politics in Nineteenth Century Britain. She is the guest presenter of Document: Votes for Victorian Women which is broadcast on BBC Radio 4 this evening at 8pm.Occasionally, just occasionally, you encounter a document that radically changes your view of the past. This happened to me very recently. The source was just a few scraps of parchment in a box of solicitors’ papers in Lichfield. But, at a stroke, it provided me with tangible proof that Victorian women were not only eligible to vote, but actually exercised that right, some 75 years before they received the parliamentary franchise in 1918.

  • Originally published 01/23/2013

    Ruth Rosen: Roe v. Wade and Beyond

    Ruth Rosen, a former columnist for the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle, is Professor Emerita of History at UC-Davis and a visiting scholar at the Center for the Study of Right-Wing Movements at UC-Berkeley. Her most recent book is The World Split Open: How the Modern Women’s Movement Changed America.On the day that Roe v. Wade was handed down, I felt a mixture of elation and panic. A new future loomed in which unwanted pregnancies would no longer send women to quacks, rushing them to hospitals with raging infections and perhaps to their deaths. I breathed a sigh of relief, knowing that many lives would be saved.At the same time, I knew that this historic decision had started the culture wars, even though I didn’t have the language to explain my thoughts. As a young historian, I realized that the Supreme Court had given us abortion rights and what the Court gave, the Court could take away. Even more, I understood that we had not received this right through congressional legislation, which would have reflected a greater consensus among Americans. But I also knew that there had not been enough national conversation for legislation that would have legalized abortion, so a Court decision was the only way, at that time, that we could have gained reproductive rights.

  • Originally published 01/22/2013

    Five Myths about Roe v. Wade

    Supreme Court Building. Credit: Wiki Commons.Originally posted on the UNC Press Blog.On January 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court announced its decision in Roe v. Wade, the abortion rights case that culminated in one of the most controversial legal rulings in the country’s history. Forty years later, numerous myths continue to circulate about the contents and meanings of Roe. Here are five of the most significant:Myth #1: Roe endorsed abortion on demand.