Gloria Steinem on inequality and reproductive rights

Feminist activist and writer Gloria Steinem describes inequality as a prison. She reflects on why access to abortion and reproductive rights is essential to women’s equality.


GLORIA STEINEM: There is no such thing as a competition of tears. Any inequality or suffering is wrong.

[Inequality is logo. A graphic black equal sign with an orange slash through it. #InequalityIs. Gloria Steinem, writer and activist. A white woman in her 80s with brown eyes and dyed-brown shoulder-length hair, dressed in a black cardigan over a brown shirt.]

I was a journalist, but I became aware that I could no longer only write about something,
I had to also act on it. When I went to a hearing about abortion, because abortion was then a criminal act and women’s lives were greatly endangered by it, I had had an abortion also and suddenly I realized, wait a minute, why if 1 in 3 American women – and the numbers are huge all over the world – has needed an abortion at some time in her life, why is that illegal, why is it life-endangering? And that for me was the moment of exploding consciousness I suppose you could say.

[Black and white photos of a young Gloria protesting, attending rallies, and marching in support of a woman’s right to choose.]

As much as I’m angered every day by opposition to simple fairness and equality, I’m also encouraged every day by what will be the future far beyond me. Inequality is a prison. Some prison cells have too little water and food. Some prison cells have too much food. But they’re both prisons. I hope that enough people will organize and force open all cells. However it happens, it has to happen.

[Inequality Is Logo. Join the conversation. #InequalityIs.]

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