This week, another woman made history.
Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards was the first speaker at the Democratic National Convention to use the word "abortion" in her speech, not once, but three times. She said:
[Hillary Clinton] will always stand up for Roe v. Wade and the right of every woman to access a full range of reproductive health care, including abortion, no matter her economic status. Not long ago, the Supreme Court ruled that the Texas laws that forced abortion providers to close their doors are dangerous and unconstitutional. Donald Trump has called women 'fat pigs' and 'dogs.' He wants to punish women for having abortions. And he says pregnancy is an 'inconvenience' for a woman's employer.
This is astounding because even pro-choice politicians like Hilary Clinton opted for softer phrases, like "a woman's right to make her own healthcare decisions" and "women's rights." Bernie Sanders, another huge pro-choice leader, used the euphemism "a woman's right to choose."
Why is choosing not to say "abortion" in a political speech a big deal? Because it's naïve to hide both a word and legislation that is such a big part of American women's lives.
A third of women in America get an abortion before they turn 45 (despite Mike Pence, Donald Trump's pick for vice president, trying to abolish abortion rights). Apparently, the significance of Roe v. Wade means nothing to conservatives, but I digress.
I'm personally a little embarrassed that even liberal politicians refuse to throw "abortion" around when they speak.
But Planned Parenthood Action Fund Vice President of Communication Mary Alice Carter reminds us why it's so important to use the a-word in public, political discourse. She said:
It's important to have the head of Planned Parenthood say 'abortion,' it's important for any woman who's had an abortion to say 'abortion' and it's important for us to start sharing those stories and start bringing it out of the shadows and recognizing that it's a normal experience.
Hopefully, the political leaders of our nation will be more keen to use "abortion" in their speeches, rather than skirting around it entirely. After all, the right to abortion is no secret, nor should it be.