EMA presents an Afternoon Discussion on Reproductive Rights
with Carole Joffe Ph. D., March 17, 2012
Carole Joffe, Author, Activist, Sociologist and UCSF Professor, was EMA’s keynote speaker at its Annual Spring Fundraising Event at Florida Atlantic University on March 17, 2012. Joffe, a vocal leader in the reproductive rights movement in the United States, is currently a Professor in the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health at the University of California, San Francisco. She wrote the compelling 2010 book Dispatches from the Abortion Wars: The Costs of Fanaticism to Doctors, Patients, and the Rest of Us.
Joffe spoke at length about abortion as the “central drama of contemporary American society” and the “War on Women’s Health Care” being waged in the Republican-controlled State legislatures across the country since the November 2012 elections. The net impact of the explosion of these “nutty, crazy, out-of-control rules governing personal acts in bedrooms and doctors’ offices” she said, “is a pushback to the days before Roe v Wade.”
However, Joffe said she believed – in Bob Dylan’s words – “The Times they are A-Changing.” She said she senses a resurgence in reproductive rights activism recently, based on the intense, vociferous reaction across the country to the Susan Komen decision, since reversed, in defunding Planned Parenthood, and the national outrage at Rush Limbaugh’s on-air sexual harassment and debasement of a Georgetown law student’s appearance at the all-male, Republican hearing on contraception provisions in the proposed Obama-made Affordable Care Act. “If we win in November,” she said, with mirth, “I’m sending Mr. Limbaugh flowers!” Joffe said she’d send political cartoonist Gary Trudeau flowers too, if the Democrats win the election in November, for entirely different reasons – as thanks and admiration for devoting an entire week of his Doonesbury strip to a parody of the more than radical abortion restrictions recently proposed in Texas.
Joffe concluded that, indeed, “The Times they are A-Changing,” and that an emerging reproductive rights activist movement is gaining increasing momentum against the so-called “Republican War on Women,” not too different from the social, political and feminist movements against another type of war, the Vietnam War in the 1960s. Joffe’s optimism and hope resounded well with all the attendees present at the afternoon discussion on reproductive rights.
Additionally, Jacqui Quetal, FNP, co-founder of Nursing Students for Choice, spoke about her pro-choice grassroots organization among nursing students nationwide and praised Joffe as the “most factual, historically credible writer our movement has ever had.” EMA wishes to convey their thanks and appreciation to Florida Atlantic University’s Feminist Student Alliance who co-sponsored the event and were instrumental in its overwhelming success.