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all his relatives, only one had the right blood type. David Shimp, however, refused to undergo the surgery because of the risks to his own body. The court ruled that no one could force the transplant, even though McFall would die without it, saying that society could not infringe on an individual’s absolute right to his or her body. Laws compelling such an action would change every concept and principle of current law, according to the presiding judge. Further, the judge could not imagine where such a change would lead. Legislators and judges would be changing this constitutional fabric by giving those who are not considered individuals under the rights than living citizens. When Texas women spoke out in NARAL’s call for letters in favor of access to abortion, they spoke with concerns for their families and any child they might bring into the world. “[My friends] who opted to bear the child have suffered not only financially, but more important, emotionally,” said one woman. Other responses showed similar concerns: “My husband said he would divorce me if I didn’t [have an abortion]. . . . I knew I couldn’t [raise a child alone].” “I didn’t believe in bringing a child into this world and then asking the government to support it.” “I already had one child to care for on what I made as a waitress and could not afford to give birth and raise a second child on my own.” “I had five self-abortions in eight years and I’m 63 years old. I graduated from high school in 1939 . . . it was strictly a matter of survival just survival.” These are not trivial issues. Despite extensive research into sex differences and many strong statements about it, the only unequivocable difference between men and women is the ability of women to grow a new human being inside their bodies. Men can’t do that even with the latest scientific technologies. Lord Brain, a former president of the International Society of Internal Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology in Great Britain once said, “When, wherever you live in the world, you can have children only when you wish, that will be a revolution with more far-reaching effects on the pattern of human culture than the discovery of atomic energy.” If we change the “you” in that quote to “women,” we can imagine that the right to reproductive freedom empowers women more than any other law that prohibits sex discrimination. It will also affect the population of any country that allows women to make that decision. We hear a lot about China’s policy to control their population, and the possibility that this includes forced abortion. We don’t hear about Rumania, where the government is forcing women to have children, not only by prohibiting abortions, but by invading women’s private lives to “protect” any unreported pregnancies. For women to truly have the same freedoms and opportunities as men do, they must control their fertility in ways that men will never be required to consider. Even the most conscientious users of birth control methods become pregnant. Women who are raped become pregnant. Young girls who are the victims of incest become pregnant. Without the option of abortion, however difficult a decision to make, women can never be free to pursue the American dream. For women, abortion is the first and foremost civil rights issue. LAW The legal profession remains one of the strongest of male bastions not just in terms of the numbers of men and women involved, but in the values and characteristics of the profession itself The world of law presents for many women one of the toughest challenges society has to offer, as well as some of the highest rewards. It also, some women lawyers have told us, takes its toll on women in ways seldom realized by men. The Observer recently put together a panel of six women to address issues relating to women and the law; what follows is a transcript, edited for length, of their roundtable discussion. The participants were: Amy Johnson, a 1985 graduate of the Harvard Law School who now works as an attorney for Pluymen and Bayer in Austin; Patricia Love, a licensed professional counselor in Austin who holds a doctorate in counseling from West Virginia University; Cascelle Noble, a 1979 University of Texas Law School graduate who is litiga tion coordinator at the Texas Legal Services Center; Martha Smiley \(University in the Austin firm Bickerstaff Heath and Smiley; Bea Ann Smith \(University of years practicing family law is now a visiting professor of family law and contracts at the University of Texas; and Sarah Weddington \(University of Texas turer at the University of Texas and an attorney in private practice. At the point at which we pick up the discussion, the panelists were discussing the demands the practice of law makes, especially with regard to issues of honesty and ethics. Martha Smiley: I was trying to identify maybe some things that are fundamental differences in the way that I’ve seen women ‘approach law, without instruction, without somebody teaching them; and there are very few things that I see as fundamental differences. But I think that may be one that women have to learn more the technique of negotiation that includes the characteristics that you were talking about . . . concealing, and Bea Ann Smith: Playing the game. Smiley: . . . playing the game, and not warming up to the other side and that sort of thing. Women have to learn that. See, because that’s not how women go to it. But it may not just be women, I don’t know. Amy Johnson: One time I got a motion to compel, which is trying to get you to produce certain documents, and I was late on filing discovery. And my first reaction, I was really mad at this [opposing] lawyer. And I said, “All he had to do was call me! I would have turned these over. And I was telling this to all the attorneys I work with are men and I was telling it to these other attorneys, and they said, “Women are going to change the profession.” . . . Have you ever heard of a psychologist named Carol Gilligan? One of her ideas is that women’s morality is tied up with relationships with other people and men’s morality is tied up with rules. And that the rules are that Women In a Field of Men 10 SEPTEMBER 25, 1987