Archives - David Nova With Katherine Magraw
April 2004
March for Women's Lives: David Nova With Katherine Magraw
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David Nova and Katherine Magraw of Planned Parenthood of the Blue Ridge, March for Women's Lives, Washington, D.C., April 25, 2004 [Photo by Heather Higgins, Charlottesville Pro-Choice Alliance]


There's nothing quite like feeling you're surrounded by friends and kindred spirits – hundreds of thousands of them. Being part of the March for Women's Lives was tremendously exhilarating and inspirational. So much of our lives are spent attending to our daily routine from within our small cocoons. It is easy to feel isolated and disconnected from others. Thus, it felt all the more rousing to join with so many others to make an important political statement about the rights of women to have access to safe, legal and affordable abortions and other types of reproductive health care. And, of course, I was encouraged that the turnout was so tremendous and that Charlottesville was so well represented. We succeeded in bringing eight full busloads to Washington along with many, many others who came on their own. More importantly, perhaps, our organizing work to publicize the March and get people there laid the foundation for more organized activism in this area. For me the March was really about creating activists, not just for a pleasant Sunday in Washington, but for the long-haul.

And, oh, do we need political activists. My sense of euphoria from the March quickly dimmed when just a week later the FDA refused to approve emergency contraception for over-the-counter sale. Where was the outrage over this clear violation of the FDA's charter to put science and public health over crass politics? Have all those march goers returned to their private cocoons? This week (May 20) the US House of Representative's rejected an amendment to permit women serving in the armed forces overseas to obtain abortions at military hospitals. And, of course, all those Virginians marching in Washington will not deter our unbalanced, extremist Virginia state legislators from pursuing their efforts to further limit access to abortion and contraception. That will require sustained, well-organized political work from all of us.

Katherine Magraw (electronic mail, May 21, 2004)

For more, see Body Politics, Marchers Champion Reproductive Rights, Opposition to Bush and Antiabortion Rally Confronts Hugh March.

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