When I was 11, the Supreme Court legalized abortion.
It jumped into the social battles that had been waging across the country at a slow boil, snatched a constitutional right from the penumbral shadows and gave dignity to the coat hanger. After all, it was this bloody symbol that had been raised to prove that women needed abortions, and when they couldn’t get them they’d resort to fatal home remedies.
And voila, the issue was finally laid to rest.
Now let me dislodge my tongue from my cheek. As we all know, nothing was laid to rest on that day in January 1973. In fact, from the ashes of defeat, the nascent antiabortion movement rose up and became a force of nature that is today a deciding factor in politics and policy. And while the decision that legalized the abhorrent practice was never explicitly overruled, Roe v. Wade has been narrowed to the extent that there is hope of its one day becoming unnecessary and