17 tweets to shine a light on the importance of Roe v. Wade, 45 years later.

It's been 45 years since the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, but somehow, the fight over abortion rages on today.

Far from the settled subject one might be led to believe, abortion remains a contentious issue and a driving force in politics. As president, Donald Trump has led the fight against abortion rights, appointing a number of extremist anti-choice judges to federal courts and delivering remarks at the anti-choice "March for Life."

Still, a majority of Americans believe abortion should be legal — a 2017 Pew survey found that 57% of Americans believe abortion should be legal in "all or most cases," with just 16% of those polled saying they believe it should be made illegal.


Abortion rights demonstrators marched through New York in 1977. Photo by Peter Keegan/Keystone/Getty Images.

Roe v. Wade marked an important milestone in reproductive health, and pro-choice groups and individuals took to social media to celebrate the occasion.

Planned Parenthood highlighted the fact that the case was argued by then-27-year-old Sarah Weddington, who made history as the youngest person to argue a successful Supreme Court case.

The Center for Reproductive Rights shared a video highlighting the fight for reproductive justice and sharing the stories of individuals who've had abortions.

The most heartfelt tweets, however, were those from individuals.

Writers Maureen Shaw and Jessica Valenti opened up about their abortions.

Author Jennifer Wright joked about the Trump administration's recent anti-trans and anti-abortion "moral objections" policy at the Department of Health and Human Services. More seriously, she offered her thoughts on what an abortion "might make possible" for those who need it.

NARAL Pro-Choice America president Ilyse Hogue dropped a hard truth: Criminalizing abortions doesn't eliminate them; it only makes them more dangerous.

Others called out the Trump administration's hypocrisy, noting that self-described "small government" politicians had a tendency to be a little too interested in micromanaging what someone does with their uterus, or made the (very reasonable) suggestion that we base public policy on things like science.

Others pointed to some underappreciated aspects of legal abortion: In some cases, it's life-saving.

When writer Mary Elizabeth Williams was diagnosed with cancer, she had to sign a consent form acknowledging that if she became pregnant, she would need to stop treatment.

"I also used birth control, of course, but nothing is foolproof, and rape sometimes happens, too," she wrote in a Twitter direct message. "For what it's worth, any other time in my life, any, I'd found myself pregnant, I would have continued with it ... But leave my kids without a mom or have an abortion? That would have been a no-brainer."

The truth is, as many pointed out, that reproductive health care (including abortion) is health care.

You wouldn't think this would be a controversial thing to say, but you'd be wrong (which is why it's so important to say it).

"Every child should be a wanted child," another Twitter user added. "Every parent should be a willing parent."

Writer and editor Evette Dionne correctly pointed out that "political attacks on abortion are intimately connected to a lack of access to contraception, sex education, and government assistance."

"It is a means of shaming the poor, particularly poor women of color," she added. "We will not go back."

As long as abortion rights are under attack, it's important that we amplify the voices of reproductive justice.

We may be 45 years into the fight, but it's far from over.

An abortion rights demonstrator holds a sign outside the Supreme Court. Photo by Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images.

True

When Sue Hoppin was in college, she met the man she was going to marry. "I was attending the University of Denver, and he was at the Air Force Academy," she says. "My dad had also attended the University of Denver and warned me not to date those flyboys from the Springs."

"He didn't say anything about marrying one of them," she says. And so began her life as a military spouse.

The life brings some real advantages, like opportunities to live abroad — her family got to live all around the US, Japan, and Germany — but it also comes with some downsides, like having to put your spouse's career over your own goals.

"Though we choose to marry someone in the military, we had career goals before we got married, and those didn't just disappear."

Career aspirations become more difficult to achieve, and progress comes with lots of starts and stops. After experiencing these unique challenges firsthand, Sue founded an organization to help other military spouses in similar situations.

Sue had gotten a degree in international relations because she wanted to pursue a career in diplomacy, but for fourteen years she wasn't able to make any headway — not until they moved back to the DC area. "Eighteen months later, many rejections later, it became apparent that this was going to be more challenging than I could ever imagine," she says.

Eighteen months is halfway through a typical assignment, and by then, most spouses are looking for their next assignment. "If I couldn't find a job in my own 'hometown' with multiple degrees and a great network, this didn't bode well for other military spouses," she says.

She's not wrong. Military spouses spend most of their lives moving with their partners, which means they're often far from family and other support networks. When they do find a job, they often make less than their civilian counterparts — and they're more likely to experience underemployment or unemployment. In fact, on some deployments, spouses are not even allowed to work.

Before the pandemic, military spouse unemployment was 22%. Since the pandemic, it's expected to rise to 35%.

Sue eventually found a job working at a military-focused nonprofit, and it helped her get the experience she needed to create her own dedicated military spouse program. She wrote a book and started saving up enough money to start the National Military Spouse Network (NMSN), which she founded in 2010 as the first organization of its kind.

"I founded the NMSN to help professional military spouses develop flexible careers they could perform from any location."

"Over the years, the program has expanded to include a free digital magazine, professional development events, drafting annual White Papers and organizing national and local advocacy to address the issues of most concern to the professional military spouse community," she says.

Not only was NMSN's mission important to Sue on a personal level she also saw it as part of something bigger than herself.

"Gone are the days when families can thrive on one salary. Like everyone else, most military families rely on two salaries to make ends meet. If a military spouse wants or needs to work, they should be able to," she says.

"When less than one percent of our population serves in the military," she continues, "we need to be able to not only recruit the best and the brightest but also retain them."

"We lose out as a nation when service members leave the force because their spouse is unable to find employment. We see it as a national security issue."

"The NMSN team has worked tirelessly to jumpstart the discussion and keep the challenges affecting military spouses top of mind. We have elevated the conversation to Congress and the White House," she continues. "I'm so proud of the fact that corporations, the government, and the general public are increasingly interested in the issues affecting military spouses and recognizing the employment roadblocks they unfairly have faced."

"We have collectively made other people care, and in doing so, we elevated the issues of military spouse unemployment to a national and global level," she adds. "In the process, we've also empowered military spouses to advocate for themselves and our community so that military spouse employment issues can continue to remain at the forefront."

Not only has NMSN become a sought-after leader in the military spouse employment space, but Sue has also seen the career she dreamed of materializing for herself. She was recently invited to participate in the public re-launch of Joining Forces, a White House initiative supporting military and veteran families, with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.

She has also had two of her recommendations for practical solutions introduced into legislation just this year. She was the first in the Air Force community to show leadership the power of social media to reach both their airmen and their military families.

That is why Sue is one of Tory Burch's "Empowered Women" this year. The $5,000 donation will be going to The Madeira School, a school that Sue herself attended when she was in high school because, she says, "the lessons I learned there as a student pretty much set the tone for my personal and professional life. It's so meaningful to know that the donation will go towards making a Madeira education more accessible to those who may not otherwise be able to afford it and providing them with a life-changing opportunity."

Most military children will move one to three times during high school so having a continuous four-year experience at one high school can be an important gift. After traveling for much of her formative years, Sue attended Madeira and found herself "in an environment that fostered confidence and empowerment. As young women, we were expected to have a voice and advocate not just for ourselves, but for those around us."

To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen/. Nominate an inspiring woman in your community today!

Photo by Tod Perry

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