Manchester Cricket: “On Limiting Women’s Rights”

Letter to the Editor, July 14, 1989

The last and most recent 5-4 decision by the now adjourned Supreme Court — Webster vs. Reproductive Health Networks — has enraged members of the Manchester community along lines that mirror the national response. The Constitutionally guaranteed right to privacy is being jeopardized, eroded and most serious of all is being politicized. The 16-year legal window under the ROE vs. WADE decision is being slammed shut and women face the prospects once again of illegal, dangerous and unsafe abortions as well as their right to make their own decision on childbearing is going before the State Legislatures whose memberships are primarily male and whose feet are of clay on this issue.

Once again we are witnessing a system that demeans women by restricting her ability top make her own childbearing decision, robs women of equal status and endangers their lives. Those who have had safe abortions, made in the privacy of their own home, church, and medical facility are speaking out for those who have died from coat-hanger abortions, back alley abortions and who cannot share their private lives.

The float in Manchester’s recent 4th of July Parade — which was “inadvertently” not listed among parade entries in the press, included several symbolic reminders of the situation women in America have been in, and will be back to, if all of us who have been silent remain so. The old-fashioned coat hangers were reminders of abortions done by women in the past and the symbolic “A” was a literary reminder of Hawthorne’s 19th century Hestor [sic] Prynne whose transgression was committing Adultery whereas the 20th century woman’s “transgression” is to have a safe “A” abortion.

There are organizations in place to ensure that the threat to woman’s rights is fought right here in Manchester — one can join the North Shore Abortion Rights Coalition (NARC), attend meetings held locally by Mass Choice, write, phone editors of local papers and clear your calendar to march in Washington when the 300,000 Pro-Choice marchers of April will triple their numbers.

P.I.L.O.T., Margaret Coleman