What women really want for Valentine's Day

What do women really want for Valentine's Day? How about equal rights and bodily autonomy?

What women want for Valentine's Day is bodily autonomy and fundamental rights.
What women want for Valentine's Day is bodily autonomy and fundamental rights.  © 123rf/sangiao

Flowers and chocolate are nice, but what's really sweet is having equal rights and access to essential health care.

Since the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, which protected the right to abortion for almost 50 years, these services have essentially disappeared in 24 states. The decision has forced people to travel long distances and has put providers in states where the procedure is legal under severe pressure.

The SCOTUS decision has made it clear that women have an unequal status in the US and lack of bodily autonomy in 24 of the 50 states.

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While Roe v. Wade got overturned, another critical measure never got passed: the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), which today is almost 100 years old. The ERA would amend the Constitution to say that "[e]quality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State on account of sex."

In the year 2023, shouldn’t that be a given?

Women want action for Valentine's Day

Representative Cori Bush speaks during a news conference to announce a joint resolution to affirm the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment on Capitol Hill.
Representative Cori Bush speaks during a news conference to announce a joint resolution to affirm the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment on Capitol Hill.  © Drew Angerer / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

Valentine's Day has always been about showing love and care.

But for me in the early 2000s, mostly thanks to the play The Vagina Monologues and the V-Day movement it inspired, it has also become about fighting for women's rights and acting to end violence against women.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of that movement, so what better time to give women what they really want by getting actively involved?

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You could contact your senator and ask them to affirm the validity of the ERA, or ask the White House to direct the US Archivist to publish the ERA.

Or how about donating to organizations that support essential health care for those affected by the abortion bans in the name of your Valentine, like Planned Parenthood, The National Network of Abortion Funds, National Abortion Federation, and Sister Song?

There's also supporting organizations fighting to protect and reinstate those rights legally, like American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Center for Reproductive Rights, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Pregnancy Justice, and National Women's Law Center.

You could show your support in a more performative manner by getting involved with organizations like V-Day.

So happy Valentine's Day – may you celebrate by channeling your love into action!

Cover photo: sangiao

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