A year ago today, we learned that Heath Ledger died at the all-too-early age of 28. But on the anniversary of his death, Ledger has received an Oscar nomination for his role as the Joker in The Dark Knight -- a role for which he has already won a Golden Globe.
January 22 is also a cause for celebration: 35 years ago today the US Supreme Court ruled on Roe v. Wade, declaring that legal abortion is a fundamental right for all women. And despite setbacks, restrictions, and misguided dogma, American women no longer have to seek out illegal and dangerous methods of terminating an unwanted pregnancy.
With President Obama now in office, we have one of the strongest pro-choice presidents in history -- a man who has repeatedly stood by his belief in a women's right to choose. We can also hope that he'll overturn Bush's "global gag rule," which forbade countries that received funding from the US to support or endorse abortion or prostitution. And with the combination of Obama and an overwhelmingly Democratic Congress, we might finally see the passage of the Prevention First Act (of which Obama was an original co-sponsor), a bill that will endorse and expand comprehensive sex education and make contraception more accessible for all.
Please hold Obama and our elected officials accountable over the next 4 years by making sure they don't abandon these pressing issues. The future has never looked brighter, but we must make sure those in charge don't lose sight of the goal.
NARAL Pro-Choice America
National Abortion Federation
Feminist Majority Foundation
Advocates for Youth