It is hard to believe that 43 years have passed since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a woman’s right to privacy in making her own decisions about her reproductive health. I write this letter as a grandmother of six young people and I want my grandchildren to have this right to privacy as they make decisions in future years about their bodies, their health and their future families.
Those decisions should not be made by politicians, who seem to have little interest in controlling other things, such as carrying weapons. These days it is easier for people to buy a gun and use that gun than it is for a woman to get help and health care when she needs it, for the consequences of a rape, or a death of a spouse, or for medical reasons, or a mistake when one is not mature or able to be a parent.
Most of the time, the brunt of these actions taken by states or by courts falls on those women least able to afford other options. Obstacles have been put in place in many states to restrict access, so that women must travel many miles, take time off work, pay for sitters, or possibly have to travel across state lines to get health care, advice, birth control and support when they need it, sometimes making the needed care impossible. These laws actually endanger women and are deeply unpopular with many Americans.
I truly believe we need to focus our efforts on caring for those who are struggling, who are hungry and who lack medical care, and stop fighting about issues that should be decided between a women, her husband, family and doctor. I hope 2016 will be a good year for the women who bear us, raise and nurture us, and are parents for all our lives.
Jane B. Schildge