Are Millennials Bored of Abortion Rights?


As the 40th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade approaches, abortion still seems to be a hot-button issue. TIME Magazine's January 14th issue details how abortion rights activists have been losing ground since 1973. Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL, gave an interview in Salon about the current generation being arguably less active in the pro-choice sphere than her own is. 

But I have to disagree with Keenan. I know a number of people in my age group who care about abortion rights very strongly; I consider myself one of them.

My generation may not have the voice that comes with large donations to political candidates, but young voters are a demographic that's important to many seeking office, as we helped elect President Obama in 2008. A large part of millennials' activism is unseen by those outside our age range, given that much of it takes place on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. The one I use most, Tumblr, is full of feminist and pro-choice blogs. Todd Akin's offensive comments went viral quickly, and I like to think it let some voters know what, and who, they would really be checking a box for.

The attack on abortion rights has grown in recent years, but so has the pro-choice backlash. Many anti-choice officials (or would-be officials) were defeated in the 2012 election.

However, Keenan may be onto something about my generation. We weren't born when the fight for legal abortions was in full swing. Instead, we're often seen as "slacktivists," hiding behind a screen. We're overloaded and stressed. Unless we live in an anti-choice state, most of us could probably have an abortion without much fanfare. But I can promise you: We do care. Our support is just being shown differently than in years past.

Without previous generations that take us seriously — and jobs that pay us well enough to donate to organizations like NARAL and Planned Parenthood — we may not be able to make a huge difference.