There are heroic efforts. There are breakthroughs. There are actions that help others.
There are transformational ideas. There are lovers. There are caregivers. There are life savers.
There are creators. There are committed compassionate behaviors. There are private embraces. There is effort. There is creation. There is achievement.
He watched a woman die from a self inflicted attempt at abortion. He found a silent epidemic of women suffering and dying from abortion attempts. He begain a crusade that has occupied much of his life – to prevent unwanted pregnancies through birth control and education and to enable women to have access to safe and affordable abortion services.
It was against the law as recently as 1972 for unmarried people to possess contraception and it was illegal to distribute contraceptives to unmarried people. I remember reading about his arrest in Boston in 1967 when he handed out a condom and a container of contraceptive foam to an unmarried female student. He was charged with a “Crime against Chastity” that carried a 5 year prison sentence. Bill went to jail for that crime and for numerous other instances involving speech about birth control and distribution of birth control to unmarried people. He was not supported by Planned Parenthood, by certain women’s rights groups, or by the ACLU at that time. It was then and is to this day a lonely, painful journey for Bill Baird. And it was then and is to this day a dedicated effort toward Nurture, Equality, Truth and Systems.
His appeal to the US Supreme Court and later separate court ruling resulted in decisions that ultimately affirmed the right of privacy, free speech rights, and the equal rights of married and unmarried people, to be free from unwarranted government intrusions into matters so fundamentally affecting a person as the decision to bear or beget a child.
He influenced the lives we lead today. The freedom of consenting adults to engage in sex was not recognized by all States in America until 2003. That 2003 decision relied on prior privacy decisions arising from the efforts of Bill Baird. The freedom to educate and to distribute birth control and disease control resources is directly the result of the efforts of Bill Baird. The freedom to obtain a safe and affordable abortion was championed by Bill Baird.
Ideology, not NETS, dictated control and intrusions into our lives that had no intent other than to maintain the ideology. That same ideology remains today and continues to threaten the actions of consenting adults; to threaten the reproductive rights of women; and to threaten access to abortion resources, consulting resources, child development resources and to every effort possible that avoids unwanted pregnancies – enabling the situations resulting in abortions to continue their voluntary decline.
We recognize Bill Baird for his commitment to the entire spectrum of NETS against a headwind of sacrifice that continues to this day.
Thank you Bill.