Denver Newsroom, Jan 27, 2021 / 12:40 pm
Poet Amanda Gorman made a splash with her performance at President Joe Biden’s inauguration. But less than two years earlier, she performed a strongly pro-abortion poem that championed abortion access as necessary to secure equality, to escape from poverty, and to achieve the freedom to determine family size.
Her poem charged that those who advocate abortion bans aim to control women and sustain the “patriarchy.”
Her performance, carried by Now This News in May 2019, took place when Gorman was a 21-year-old undergraduate at Harvard University. She argued against proposed abortion restrictions in Alabama, Georgia, and elsewhere.
“Fight forRoe v. Wadein the United States,” she said, “because this change can’t wait.”
“We are never alone when we fight fire with feminism. We will not be masquerade to the tale of a handmaid. We will not letRoe v. Wadeslowly fade,” she said.
The Alabama legislation passed in 2019 was intended to be a direct challenge toRoe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that mandated legal abortion nationwide. The legislation made attempting or performing an abortion a felony offense, except in cases of a serious health risk to the mother. Doctors who performed abortion could be charged with a Class A felony and face between 10 years and life in prison.
The penalty applied only to doctors, not to mothers, who would not face criminal penalties for undergoing abortions.
The Alabama legislation had the support of then-Bishop Robert Baker of Birmingham. He said that the legislation reflected “the strong commitment that the people of Alabama have to life.” He voiced strong support for the bills, hoping that they would eventually “make the killing of unborn children in our country something that is no longer viewed as anything but the horrendous and inhumane killing of the most innocent among us that it is.”