It is with a heavy heart that I announce the passing of Sophie Feldman, a formidable woman whose passing came in the same week that the U.S. Supreme Court chose to jeopardize the lives of millions of women across these United States.
I am choosing to write the editor, rather than the obituary department, as Sophie, my mother, was the first clinic director of Santa Barbara’s office of Planned Parenthood during the 1970s. She was a public health nurse who grew up in Indiana and worked in home health after World War II before moving to California in 1957 with her family .
After having three kids and getting us on our ways, she chose to go back to school to become one of the first certified nurse practitioners in California with a specialty in reproductive health. She ran the Planned Parenthood clinic in Santa Barbara and Lompoc until moving elsewhere in Southern California in 1979 when she retired.
The hundreds, if not thousands, of women who came through those doors did so in the belief that they had a right to reproductive health care protected by the Constitution and that it would be available in a safe, and medically ethical, setting with caring providers trained to assist them. I am glad that my mom was able to realize a goal of using her training and compassion to help the women of Santa Barbara County with the difficult decisions they had to make.
So many of us grew up in an environment where the U.S. Supreme Court looked forward instead of backward. We now are tasked with the mission of using our legs, our wallets and our votes to turn back this medieval attempt to remove rights we had — rights we had taken for granted.
My mother would have asked everyone to get out and vote. She was 99 years old and had seen so much positive growth in her lifetime.
Let’s honor her and her fellow pioneers in reproductive health by voting in November for people who will work to overturn this turn to the right by our courts. They weren’t called the dark ages for nothing.