Opinion: I hope I’m still a progressive and pro-choice abortion activist when I am older

Mary Duncan

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*This is a work of nonfiction and opinion based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission.*

I was sitting in Panera Bread alone today, eating my soup and salad and I couldn’t help but overhear the conversation that the women at the table next to me were having with each other.

To put things in perspective, I’m 40, and these women looked to be about 60 and maybe 70 to 75, there was definitely a significant age difference between them.

I was surprised when the ladies started talking about the recent Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and end the federally protected right to abortion access.

“I can’t believe that my daughters are going to be growing up with fewer rights than I had when I was their age,” the younger of the two women said.

“And to think I’ve seen abortion go from being illegal, to legal, now to illegal again within my lifetime. We are going backwards,” the older woman said.

“When I was younger, I fought for my rights as a woman, we had to, we had no choice,” the older woman said.

I was happy to hear that two women of older generations than me believed in the right to have an abortion and were pro-choice, even when they both grew up in a time when it was either illegal or extremely taboo to have an abortion.

In my opinion, if you are pro-choice, this is the time to speak up and use your voice to do something about it.

Vote, for instance.

If nothing else, just talk about it, talk about the rights that were taken away from millions of women in America this week, or write about it and spread the word.

When the ladies were getting up to leave, the older one nodded at me and gave me a little laugh.

“I hope our conversation didn’t interfere with your writing,” she said.

“Oh no,” I told her. “You two were fascinating to listen to. I hope I’m just like you two when I get older.”

They were certainly flattered to hear it - would you be?

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