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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Today marks the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade - the Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal nationally.

During the women's liberation movement, grassroots organizations pushed abortion rights to the forefront and demanded change.

Unfortunately, it has been getting increasingly difficult to exercise the abortion rights we won.

Although Roe v. Wade was a step forward, women face a lot of obstacles when it comes to getting abortions and preventing pregnancy.

Restrictions on abortions - including cost, waiting periods, denial of services and spousal or parental consent - continue to limit a woman's right to choose.

Abortions are expensive, partly because abortion providers have costly regulations that no other medical providers have to abide by.

In many states, women under the age of 18 who desire abortions must first get parental consent or go before a judge.

And finding a place that provides abortions isn't easy. In Florida, 69 percent of counties have no abortion provider.

In addition to these restrictions, the price of birth control continues to rise, especially since Congress did not approve federal funding to subsidize birth control.

This funding loss has doubled the price of the pill right here on the UF campus.

It is even legal in Florida for your doctor to refuse to write you a prescription for birth control and for your pharmacist to refuse to fill your prescription if they are "morally opposed" to contraceptives.

Women are the experts on their own lives. We are the only ones who can make the choice about what is best for us.

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During the women's liberation movement, average women organized together, pushed abortion rights to the foreground and won Roe v. Wade.

We have to stand together now and demand full access to abortion.

We are the experts on our lives, not politicians, the courts, lawyers or men.

Bethany Koch is a journalism film sophomore. She's currently a chairwoman of Campus NOW.

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