Lynn Wenzel: Don’t mourn. Organize!
Nevada County Citizens for Choice joins with the country in grieving the loss of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She was not just a trailblazer for women, but for all people in this country. As a student, professor, lawyer and judge, Ginsburg was a pioneer for women in the legal field and beyond. She was one of the only women in her law school class at Columbia and during this time she cared for her young children and her seriously-ill husband while excelling in her coursework. Ginsburg graduated first in her class at Columbia Law and went on to found the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project where she argued five sex discrimination cases before the Supreme Court.
Ginsburg was not a fancy woman and she asked little for herself alone. So, it is incumbent upon all of us to ask for ourselves and our posterity what she mirrored by her work on the Court — to commit to the fight against injustice; to value and respect all human lives; to be brave and to stand for reproductive justice; to continue to work to remove barriers to reproductive health care; to support women’s and family’s rights to decide when and how to have children and to treat family’s with dignity and respect in those decisions; to protect the rights of all people — women, people of color, LGBTQ people and people with disabilities; and to mirror Ginsburg’s kindness and compassion by attempting to understand the plight of those less fortunate than ourselves and to work for their betterment.
Decisions such as Reed v. Reed resulted in the first time that sex discrimination was viewed as a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. The court also ruled that Virginia Military Institute could no longer remain an all-male institution, and in Ledbetter v. Goodyear the dissent spurred the creation of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
Justice Ginsburg blazed many of the trails we follow now and will continue to follow. The laws she championed are the legal backbone of what we do. She once said, “I wasn’t going to sit in the corner and cry.” We, too, are finished crying. We owe it to her to rise up, to give little girls today role models for strength and justice. Joe Hill said as he walked to the gallows, “Don’t mourn. Organize!” In honor of Ruth Bader Ginsberg, let us go forward with even more resolve, unafraid, secure in the rightness of our work for gender equity and reproductive justice.
Nevada County Citizens for Choice has supported the right of all people to make their own informed choices about reproductive health for 31 years. The free, low-cost clinic is staffed by Women’s Health Specialist’s professional medical staff, provides a full line of reproductive services, including STI testing and treatment, HIV testing, pregnancy testing, contraception and emergency contraception, breast, gynecological and testicular exams and health care referrals.
For information on Nevada County Citizens for Choice or to donate, go to http://www.citizensforchoice.org or http://www.facebook.com/CitizensforChoiceNevadaCounty. For an appointment or to speak with a medical professional call 530-891-1911 or 800-714-8151. And don’t forget to vote!
Lynn Wenzel lives in Nevada County.
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