The Burlesque Hall of Fame tells the stories of women and other marginalized persons who, in their art and lives, showed the value of bodily autonomy and positive sexuality. Through their use of the stage to present themselves as complex, sensual beings, the women whose lives we celebrate were able to make careers, become financially independent, travel the world, and enjoy a life lived on their own terms – all while challenging social norms that held others back as well.
Today we stand on a precipice as the American Supreme Court appears poised to strike down basic human rights protections that for the last half-century have allowed women and other marginalized persons greater freedom to build careers, become financially independent, travel, and enjoy their lives on their own terms. The Burlesque Hall of Fame opposes this impending ruling and all the disastrous implications of it, and the worldview of a small minority of Americans that underlies the ruling’s logic.
Family planning is a human right. Losing the ability to make medical, economic, and personal choices for one’s self will result in dire consequences for the entire population. We know that bans on abortion do not decrease abortion rates, but serve only to make abortions less safe while creating new social problems.
Many Americans already lack access to affordable health care. Restricting abortion will compound this issue, rendering Americans unable to exercise basic family planning and reproductive health measures. These hardships will fall hardest on the poor, perpetuating the cycle of poverty and destroying the potential to improve one’s social position. These losses will harm our most vulnerable populations even more, particularly persons of color, transgender individuals, and sex workers.
We have the ability and knowledge to make family planning easier for all. There is no justification for limiting the potential of our society and its members by taking away the right to choose how a person governs their own body. Limiting this basic human right is immoral and irreconcilable with the principles on which this nation is founded.
The Burlesque Hall of Fame calls on our political leaders to do everything in their power to protect the right to abortion and the rights to bodily autonomy and self-government that sustain it, and particularly to enshrine the protection of those rights in law. And we urge all individuals across the political spectrum to contact their representatives, petition, vote, protest, and fight like their lives depend on the precedents set in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Because they do.