A Living History

The challenge of history is to recover the past and introduce it to the present.  –David Thelen

Tonight launched the 43rd annual conference of the American Association of Sexual Educators, Counselors and Therapists. These are the people that are the educational engine as well as the therapeutic resources for the progressive understanding of what it means to be a sexual human being today. I am never disappointed at these gatherings. I hear some of the most intriguing questions and compelling conversations about what it means to educate and counsel about sex in today’s complex environment.

So I shouldn’t have been surprised to hear Sarah Weddington, the lawyer who won the case of Roe v. Wade launch the conference. In her light southern drawl, she recounted the many ways that her life growing up in Texas gave her the impetus and the opportunities to rewrite the rules for young women. From her early sports memories of having to protect her innards, which was the reasoning offered of why girls couldn’t play full court basketball to the restriction of running for student office–girls could only be secretary–Sarah saw the absurdity of these limits and spent her life fighting them.

One of the first women graduates at her law school, she was a novice lawyer when she picked up the Roe case, mostly because she was willing to do it for free. She was not an accomplished trial lawyer,  her history included  a few uncontested divorces and an adoption case for her uncle. She took the case because she believe that women deserved the right to choose. At the time she didn’t understand that this case would be one of the defining moments in her life or that this  landmark win would guaranteed a woman’s right to choose for close to 40 years.

It was a big win that grew her career into an illustrious journey. Sarah went on to serve in the Texas House of Representatives and even worked in the White House during the Carter administration. Her stories of these years fighting for women’s rights and creating opportunities for women leadership roles were at once powerful and humble.

She is still working, realizing today more than ever that the case she won in history is still under attack and that it will take more people than ever before to preserve and protect the sexual freedoms that she spent her life trying to protect.

This mission is spot on for the AASECT members, who spend their lives working to educate, counsel and inspire their patients to their right and responsibility to become a healthy and high functioning sexual human being.

The work is ongoing. There are no final victories in history. Issues are alive and changing like the humans who define and fight for and against them. It is a gift and a challenge to realize that we are responsible for the history we are making today.

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Robert O.
Robert O7 years ago

Thank you!

K s Goh
KS Goh7 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Carla Manning
Carla M7 years ago

thanks for this article..made me proud to be a woman

Charles G.
Wilde Thange7 years ago

Well watch out because secular humanism or academic social humanism is being undermined day by day as the faith based intitiative process progresses in ways that insitutionalizes religious dogma... I've read of state unuiversities being rebalanced and the insinuation is having the liberalism extracted from liberal arts.. this is an assault on the fundamental social ideals represented in academic institutions in favor of patriotic militaristic fervor and religious zealotry and dogmatism .
It is a world wide assualt meant to dismantle vestiges of socialism in favor of profit motive idealism and government services given to faith based dogmatic self serving services in the name of volunteerism vs government professional service. and since these are academically trained professionals it is actually taking their jobs and giving them to religious based and trained memberships as political patronage...
Even the legal system is being used to obfuscate protection of the law and setting dogma based precedents to be used in future cases and intensifying religious law frameworks and the military system is being infused with nationalist religious overtones.. and sexual freedoms challenged and religious sexual repression maintained that causes many paraphilias in response...and them hiding it behind demonization of the results of repression... we are racing harking back to the dark ages...

Loo Samantha
Loo sam7 years ago

thanks for sharing.

Ernie Miller
william Miller7 years ago


Parvez Z.
Parvez Zuberi7 years ago

Thanks for the article

Shell S.
Past Member 7 years ago

Thank you for the article. : )

May Howie
may Howie7 years ago


Justin Kidd
Justin Kidd7 years ago

Note, please, that Ms. Weddington, as well as the venue in which Roe v. Wade was first tried, locates in Texas. Not all of us Lone Stars are reactionaries, although those who aren't do get to feelin' pretty lonely most times.