Cleveland Plain Dealer Publishes Innis Essay

Lolita Buckner Inniss
Lolita Buckner Inniss

In an opinion piece appearing in the Cleveland Plain Dealer on the eve of the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Lolita Buckner Inniss, the Elihu Root Peace Fund Visiting Professor of Women's Studies, wrote that, “along with other aspects of the discourse on reproductive rights, [Roe v. Wade] forms part of a broader contemporary cultural battle.” In the Jan. 20 essay titled “Sex, Drugs, Rock and Roe,” Inniss observed, “the topic continues to be a battleground in the cultural wars over matters of sex and sexuality, over continually shifting and increasingly accessible medical innovations that alter when and if a pregnancy begins or ends, and over an atmosphere of pervasive social and cultural change that threatens to permanently redefine established hierarchies.”

Surveying the history of abortion legislation, Inniss noted that, “the laws seemed to be responses to the way that growing numbers of people could exercise sexual autonomy via access to and knowledge of abortion services, thereby controlling their own lives and potentially imposing changes in the fabric of the larger culture. In short, it was fear of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll, and the resulting resistance to social change, that often fueled legal limits on abortion.”

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