Question of Priorities for Campus Feminists

It’s been an abiding problem for reproductive rights advocates, albeit one with abundant silver linings, that the constitutional (and for the most part legal) status quo favors them. Thus gridlock on the subject theoretically entrenches legalized abortion. But it also means it’s easier to mobilize antichoicers politically; they’re the ones with an immediate grievance.

The latest surge of antichoice legislation in the states, aiming at a radical reduction of abortion providers and also a Supreme Court test of Roe v. Wade, has changed the dynamics significantly. But as Rachel Cohen (a former WaMo intern who’s now a writing fellow at the Prospect) points out, the campus-based feminists whom you’d expect to lead the fight against backsliding on abortion rights and contraception are strongest in states where the antichoice peril is less pressing. Many of them, moreover, are focused on the more immediate issue of sexual assault. But national women’s rights groups are beginning to invest resources in campus proejcts, and at some point, state-level threats to reproductive rights could make colleges and university the leading edge of pro-choice activism.

Check out Rachel’s full story.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.