Take to the phones!

Today is a national day of action to support the Freedom of Choice Act.

Published April 25, 2007 2:57PM (EDT)

One week ago, as you may recall, five out of nine doctors -- I mean, Supreme Court justices -- OK'd an ill-defined abortion ban with, precedent, schmecedent, no exception for women's health. The following day, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., and Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., (re) introduced the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), which would, excuse the legalese, keep their laws off our bodies once and for all.

Yeah, I know. We probably don't have the votes. Whatever. If we don't hound our legislators, we definitely won't. On April 25 (the third anniversary of the, heh, gynormous 2004 March for Women's Lives), NOW, NARAL Pro-Choice America and others are promoting a national call-in day to get lawmakers on board. Here's the number: (202) 224-3121. And here's a suggested script from NARAL: "Please cosponsor the Freedom of Choice Act (H.R. 1964/S. 1173) to codify Roe v. Wade and guarantee the right to choose for future generations of women." There you go.

Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood has organized rallies and demonstrations in states from Georgia and Pennsylvania to Missouri and Utah, and has also launched the Parenthood Pledge, "a grass-roots campaign to engage activists and supporters across the country and urge them to put every elected leader in America on notice: the American people will not allow hardliners to use the Supreme Court's reckless decision to threaten women's health. The Planned Parenthood Pledge will be shared with members of Congress, governors and state legislators across the nation." To sign the pledge, click here.

And for extra credit -- with all due respect to the many legislators and activists who've totally got our backs on this one -- here's a game: Can you think of a slightly less flabby name than the Freedom of Choice Act? I mean, it's OK, but to me, it doesn't sound nearly urgent enough. As I've said more than once, we need a punchier, less eenie-meenie-sounding word than "choice" to begin with; it's essential liberties and very lives, not just "options," that hang in the balance. The anti-reproductive-rights rhetoric has been pretty good on bill (nick)names, what with the Child Custody Protection Act/CIANA, for example (we parried by calling it the "Teen Endangerment Act" -- not bad), and hello, the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act (not to mention the "No Child Left Unaborted Act," for which I grudgingly award 10 points, though not for accuracy). What about us? (Something about "anti-forced birth," which was suggested here, could be a good start.) Ideas?

By Lynn Harris

Award-winning journalist Lynn Harris is author of the comic novel "Death by Chick Lit" and co-creator of BreakupGirl.net. She also writes for the New York Times, Glamour, and many others.

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