Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 2. 7th March 1973
Up from Under!
Up from Under!
March 8 is International Women's Day, and the Women's Abortion Action Committee will be holding a forum at university on the theme of "Abortion — a woman's right to choose", followed by a picket of parliament. The forum begins at 12 in the lounge and smoking room, and afterwards we will march to parliament from there. A wide range of representatives from various groups and organisations will be speaking at the forum, including University Feminists, Teachers' College Labour Club, Women's Abortion Action Committee, Young Socialists, University Labour Club, and others yet to be finalised.
University Feminists fully endorse this action and urge all women to come to the forum and join in the picket.
The US Supreme Court decision on January 22 legalising abortion up to six months was a significant step forward for the women's liberation movement in the United States.
On the basis of a 7 to 2 decision, the high-court ruling overturned all state laws that restrict the right to abortion under medically safe conditions before the 24th week of pregnancy. No state may legislate any restriction during the first three months, but it retains the power to limit or altogether restrict abortion during the final three months.
The historic decision was based on the right to privacy, implicit in the personal liberty guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment. The court's denial that the word "person" as used in this Amendment includes the unborn is a sound negation of the anti-abortionists' argument that the foetus is a human being.
While the Supreme Court acted virtually in accordance with the demands put forth by the majority of the women's movement since 1970, it failed to abolish all constraints. This provides an escape hatch for the states when they rewrite their reactionary laws. In view of this danger, the women's liberation movement in the US intends to keep up the struggle until all the laws restricting the right to choose are struck from the books.
University Feminists meet every Monday night at 8 in the lounge. Student Union -all women welcome. Contributions are invited to this column: letters, comments, news, reviews. Hand in at meetings, or post to Box 3871, Wellington.