‘Rolling back the clock’

‘Rolling back the clock’

Sarah Palin takes me back, way back – to the days when my peers and I filled the streets in order to force our government to do the right thing.

In 1965, I marched with thousands to ban the bomb and marched again to get out of a quagmire of a war we didn’t need or want. In August 1970, I marched in New York City with thousands in the Women’s Strike for Equality. Among other things, we demanded equal pay for equal work (and we are still not there, thanks to the Bush Supreme Court). We looked for the right to redress sexual abuse in the workplace, and that is still an uphill battle. We were asking for the right to make decisions about what we did with our own bodies – and asked that abortion be decriminalized.

Sarah Palin believes abortion is a crime. And she wants to change the U.S. Constitution and make it a federal crime. For those of you who think “no choice” has a place in Jewish law, guess again. According to halacha, a mother’s life must always be saved first – even during delivery. Yet if Sarah Palin has her way, Jewish law goes out the window, along with freedom of religion and all those privacies taken from us by the Patriot Act. Roe. v. Wade protects women’s privacy.

Can you imagine what it must be like to be a rape victim? Rape victims who become pregnant should be allowed to decide what to do without being turned into criminals. Why should the government get to make such a personal decision? Why should women have unwanted babies when Sarah Palin’s policies would make it impossible to pay for an unwanted child’s food, shelter, education or clothing? Not everyone has her family’s resources.

What kind of America is it when a female candidate for vice president resurrects back-alley abortions and girls go back to figuring out how to use knitting needles and Betadine?

Sarah Palin is inconsistent. Her party’s policies are guaranteed to kill even more young people with pollution and warfare. She almost declared war on Russia and is rolling back the clock to the early ’60s, when women and draftees were expendable, when Russia and America stood at the brink of nuclear annihilation.

Maybe it’s time to take to the streets again and go to the voting booths to keep our rights to our own bodies, our privacy, and our peace of mind.