Volume 9, No. 6 –June/July 2022
In this issue
• Roe v. Wade Overturned

• Title IX at 50
Roe v. Wade Overturned:
Potential Effects on Working Women  

by Amy Laiken
Even before the draft of the Roe v. Wade opinion was leaked in May, many of us believed it was more than possible that the Supreme Court would rule the way it did on June 24, 2022. After the leak, it seemed all but certain that the final opinion would not substantially differ from what was set forth in the May draft. However, when the final decision of the court was released, overturning Roe v. Wade as well as the 1992 Casey decision, the reality of it sank in.

It's important to note that many pregnant people with financial challenges, especially people of color, have long been living without adequate comprehensive health care. Their access to abortion, prenatal and other health care has been limited by restrictive laws, lack of health insurance, few health care providers (especially in rural areas), inadequate public transportation, and other problems. 

What Does the Reversal of Roe v. Wade Mean for Women and Their Families? 

Unfortunately, it raises even more questions than answers such as: 

Which of the states, if any, of those who have banned or severely restrict access to abortion have laws to mandate paid sick time or paid parental leave? Which of those states have laws mandating that employers allow flexibility for parenting employees?   Which of those states have expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act? What are the guidelines in those states under which parents can qualify for subsidized child care, and do those guidelines enable most parents who need the help to qualify?

Of course, those and other issues also affect people who want to carry their pregnancies to term. But what about those who sought, but were unable to secure, abortions? Will the reversal of Roe v. Wade mean that some women opt for unsafe abortions? What if they are forced to continue the pregnancy and have to take unpaid time off to deal with complications all the while knowing that they had wanted to terminate the pregnancy to begin with? What if they might need to quit their jobs to deal with such complications?

In her opinion essay in The New York Times, titled, What the Reversal of Roe Means for Women’s Work,Tressie McMillan Cottom suggests that the reversal might negatively impact a potentially pregnant person’s decision on whether to move to another state for a job, if such a state does not afford the same rights as the one in which the person currently lives. 

There are likely many other ways that the elimination of a national right to abortion might adversely affect the lives of working women and others who can become pregnant. Although we are fortunate to live in Illinois, where reproductive rights have been protected, our full rights should not be determined by the geographic boundaries of the states in which we live.  
50 years of Title IX

by Sue Straus
“No person in the United States shall on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” Those words are contained in Title IX, which celebrated its 50th anniversary on June 23rd.

The 37 words that changed everything were read by male and female athletes in Candace Parker’s documentary that recently ran on TBS. The forward from the 2021 WNBA champions, Chicago Sky, said, “My generation is the first to take advantage of Title IX. My mother could not play basketball at the University of Iowa, no athletics for women at that level. I know how important it is. If my daughter chooses to play sports, she’ll have the same opportunities as a male. I was lucky to have a coach who was very instrumental in the fight for Title IX, and women’s rights. Title IX has meant a lot to the sport, and my family as well.”

Since 1972, when President Nixon signed into law Title IX of the Education Amendments, there has been a push back by some institutions, alleging that funding and implementation could lead to discrimination against men.

Even so, at some institutions the recruitment of heads of women's sports has been quick, placing women's sports into competitive leagues and out of the physical education club category. To establish equitable practice facilities and equipment was part of the implementation of the bill. In other places lawsuits were filed against saying that adding women’s sports would cause a financial burden and assuming that since there were no women’s sports it was a result of women’s disinterest.

Today, events to educate the public about Title IX are planned by many organizations. At one event, Professor Gwendolyn Mink spoke about her mother, one of 10 women Representatives in 1972, the late Patsy Takemoto Mink, the main sponsor. According to the American Association of University Women (AAUW) website, “AAUW supports the strengthening and vigorous enforcement of Title IX and all other civil rights laws pertaining to education.”

In addition, the United States Postal Service issued a stamp in celebration of Title IX. The 37 words that changed everything remains a touchstone legislation for the civil rights of women that demands we keep vigilant in maintaining the progress made and look to the future for a more equitable playing field for all. 

For more information on Title IX please see:

This site includes information on the history, attacks on the Title IX and what can be done. 

Candace Parker was the executive producer of Title IX: 37 Words That Changed America.” View the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMsPXa3c20I
WWHP is now on Twitter! To follow us click here: 
Working Women's History Project

Please contact us through Amy Laiken