These are two cases spanning nearly 40 years. The identity of RBG has also gone from being a litigator at the time to being a judge of the Supreme Court.
Time goes back to 1970. Susan Struck is an Air Force nurse. She is a brave woman who volunteered to sign up to participate in the Vietnam War.
That year, Struck became pregnant. However, the Air Force coldly gave her two choices: either resign or have an abortion.
This condition made Struck extremely painful, because on the one hand, she was a Catholic and was unwilling to have an abortion for religious reasons; on the other hand, she also loved her job and was unwilling to resign. She wanted to compromise and asked the troops: After she gave birth to her child, would it be okay for others to adopt it? Still rejected.
Facing a dilemma, Struck found the American Civil Rights League, and RBG, who was acting as a litigator at the time, took the case without hesitation. She stated in her defense:
“Among the various obstacles that hinder women from pursuing equal rights, the differential treatment caused by the unique fertility of women bears the brunt. Until recently, jurists believed that any discrimination against pregnant women and mothers was actually’for their good’. ‘.”
The opposing lawyer saw that the situation was unfavorable and decided to compromise: Therefore, the army cancelled the regulations on dismissing pregnant women. This case directly promoted the development of women’s reproductive rights. In October 1978, Congress passed the Anti-Pregnancy Discrimination Act.
According to a reporter’s visit in 2014, the lady Struck is now living with “4 dogs, 8 cats, 9 chickens, 1 rooster, and 1 horse” in Arizona.
However, more than 30 years later, RBG put on the uniform of a Supreme Court justice. From litigation lawyer to justice, RBG once again faced the issue of abortion rights in the United States with a new identity.
It was the peak of the anti-abortion movement. In 2003, President Bush Jr. wrote the ban on “partial childbirth abortion” into a federal law. The ban was passed by the Supreme Court by a margin of 5 to 4. The reason was full of discrimination: “Protection Capricious women, so as not to regret their decisions and protect them from the deception of their lives.” “Women who have had an abortion will regret their decisions, and they will suffer from severe depression and lose confidence.”
In RBG’s view, this is a retrogression of the law, and she once again issued an objection:
“Whether women can give full play to their personal potential is closely related to “whether they can independently determine their own reproductive plans”.
Therefore, the law does not allow excessive restrictions on women’s abortion rights. This is not only to protect women’s right to privacy, but also to protect women’s autonomy. This autonomy gives women the right to freely determine the path of their lives and thus enjoy equal civil rights with men. “
These two cases spanning nearly 40 years reflect RBG’s understanding of reproductive rights: true reproductive freedom–not only the right to have children, but also the right to not have children.
Under the policy of encouraging childbirth, the government “encourages birth”, restricts women’s right to terminate pregnancy, and denies women’s physical autonomy; on the other hand, society’s discrimination against pregnant women in the workplace has not decreased, and has imposed numerous restrictions on their career development.