Millennial Abortion Activists Respond To Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s ‘Complacency’ Comments

by Anastasia K Zimitravich


Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz is not having a good couple of months. Chiefly responsible for organizing campaign activity in support of the Democratic platform and candidates,  Wasserman Schultz is essentially the head of the Democratic Party’s PR. She is charged with the raising of funds, commissioning of polls, coordinating of campaign strategy, and—if a Democrat gets elected—working closely with the President to help meet the ends of the party.

But recently, Wasserman Schultz has been in some hot water, accused of not being impartial to the Democratic frontrunners. For one thing, she drafted a wimpy six debate schedule (2008 had 16 debates), and many believe that was done to benefit Hillary Clinton, to maintain her lead, and lessen the likelihood that viewers would fall in love with Bernie Sanders’ egalitarianism.

But then, in an interview with the New York Times, Wasserman Schultz  really put her foot in it.  In an article that began with questions about the Bernie Sanders voter data debacle, Wasserman Schultz seemed to insult an entire generation of women with her answer to the following question:

Q. Do you notice a difference between young women and women our age in their excitement about Hillary Clinton? Is there a generational divide?

A. Here’s what I see: a complacency among the generation of young women whose entire lives have been lived after Roe v. Wade was decided.


It was the quote that was heard ’round the Ladysphere, and has even lead some to call for her resignation.

Taken as a bash against young women that hinges on victim-blaming, the quote has snowballed into implications that millennial women are responsible for their own right to access of reproductive choice being forcefully taken away due to lack of aggressive action. It’s an implication that Ashley Tucker, founder of the New York Chapter of #ShoutYourAbortion and Communications Chair of the New York Chapter of National Women’s Liberation, can attest as false. 

“As a lawyer now, I see women like myself — for example, the 113 women lawyers who just submitted an incredible amicus brief to the Supreme Court about abortion restrictions in Texas — standing up and owning their experiences, and committing radical acts by sharing their stories,” she told BUST via email.

It’s not that women have given up the fight for reproductive rights because they don’t care, it is that these rights are indeed being forcibly taken away, either through contrived accusations of illegal activity or moralistic mumbo jumbo. Having lived through Roe v. Wade, it would expected that Wasserman Schultz be a little more sympathetic. She ought to know well-documented pattern of powerful white men forcing oppressive legislation on women’s bodies is not new.

And yet, against inescapable odds, young women are committed to making their voices heard through the most effective way known to us: social media.



Through organizations like #ShoutYourAbortion and Lady Parts Justice, women work to show their support for providers like Planned Parenthood and National Network of Abortion Funds, and build a support unit for women who aren’t ashamed of seeking an abortion.

 “We are actively organizing, pushing for change, and making headway. As a member and supporter of the #ShoutYourAbortion movement, I see women from all over the country and the world being inspired to take a stand — even if, to start, it was within the space of 140 characters. For many, many women — myself included — it was the first time we were inspired to speak publicly, and without shame, about our own experiences with abortion. There is absolutely no complacency in that,” Tucker said. 


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