Independence: Protecting Women's Reproductive Rights

Editor's note: We asked readers if the Declaration of Independence were written today, what about our society would future generations look back on and question? Four students interning with the ACLU of Hawaii share their answers. If you have thoughts, we'd love to hear them.

When the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence promising “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” they drafted what is considered to be the most important document granting human rights to all Americans. Nonetheless, recent attacks on women’s reproductive rights around the nation threaten this promise with callous and hurtful remarks against women’s health providers.

Although I am fortunate to live in Hawaii, which has recognized the importance of protecting women’s privacy, the latest attacks are reminders of how intimidating freedom really is.

When the government prohibits women from controlling their own bodies, it prohibits women from choosing their futures. Women, like men, deserve to have the right to choose what they want with their own bodies. They have the right not to be controlled by others.

Reproductive rights cases such as Griswold v. Connecticut (ruling that the government may not ban contraceptives) and Roe v. Wade were decided decades ago; however, the debate has not yet ended and women’s ability to control their own bodies continues to be in the hands of lawmakers.

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