- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 4, 2006

NEW YORK

The feminist magazine Ms. will release its fall issue next week with a cover story titled “We Had Abortions,” accompanied by the names of thousands of women nationwide who signed a petition making that declaration.

The publication coincides with what the pro-choice movement considers a watershed moment for its cause. Abortion access in many states is being curtailed, activists are uncertain about the stance of the U.S. Supreme Court and South Dakotans vote Nov. 7 on a measure that would ban virtually all abortions in their state, even in cases of rape and incest.

“All this seems very dire,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation, which publishes Ms. “We have to get away from what the politicians are saying,” she said, “and get women’s lives back in the picture.”

Even before the issue reaches newsstands Oct. 10, pro-life activists have been decrying it. Judie Brown, president of the American Life League, wrote in a commentary that when she saw a Ms. announcement of the project, “the evil practically jumped right off the page.”

Katherine Spillar, the magazine’s executive editor, said more than 5,000 women have signed the petition so far — heeding its appeal to declare they are unashamed of the choice they made. The magazine itself had room for only 1,016 names, she said Tuesday, but all of them will be viewable online as Ms. encourages other women to continue adding their signatures.

Ms. says it will send the petition to Congress, the White House and state legislators.

The signatories include Ms. founder Gloria Steinem, comedian Carol Leifer, and actresses Kathy Najimy and Amy Brenneman, but most are not famous names.

One signatory, Debbie Findling of San Francisco, described her difficult decision last year to have an abortion after tests showed that she would bear a son with Down syndrome.

“I felt it was my right to make the decision, but having that right doesn’t make the decision any easier,” she said. “It was the hardest decision I’ve ever made.”

Mrs. Findling, 42, is married, has a 5-year-old daughter and has been trying to get pregnant again while pursuing her career as a philanthropic foundation executive.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide