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Photo by Claire Anderson on Unsplash

While my generation has, up until now, always had the right to a legal abortion, not all of us were able to exercise it. On June 24, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, allowing states to legislate away abortion rights. But for disabled people like me, Roe was never enough, as the government has long legislated our reproductive health away. As many of us now rally for the restoration of our rights, we must center the voices of disabled people. We’re still fighting for the kind of freedom that most Americans take for granted.

The United States has a long history of trying to control people with disabilities. In the early 1900s, supporters of the eugenics movement advocated for the forced sterilization of anyone they believed to be “unfit” in order to preserve “good” bloodlines. Who was fit or unfit? Largely, anyone who wasn’t a wealthy, white, nondisabled person. The eugenics movement was supported (even encouraged!) by the U.S. government. In 1927, the Court decided in Buck v. Bell that the... see more