Freedom, privacy and choice

Dear Editor:

In Sen. Collins’ written statement on the leaked draft Supreme Court opinion overturning Roe v. Wade, she only expressed concern that if Kavanaugh and Gorsuch do vote to overturn it would be “inconsistent” with their opinions supporting settled law when she voted to confirm both. Both 2016 U.S. presidential and vice-presidential Republican nominees had vowed to only nominate those who would overturn Roe v. Wade. Trump nominated three who are now on the U.S. Supreme Court and are part of the majority who have voted to overturn Roe v. Wade in the leaked draft. Is Sen. Collins naive?

I am disappointed that Sen. Collins did not express concern about some of the potential effects on a woman’s ability to obtain an abortion in the draft opinion. There is no exception for rape or incest, and it turns the right to having an abortion over to the states. Is the Senator concerned about how a young, poor rape or incest victim in southern Texas (only one of many states where abortions are or may become illegal) would feel if she had to find the means to travel to a state where abortion was legal — maybe five or six states away. Where would she find the money, travel, housing, food, when feeling sick and physically, emotionally and spiritually exhausted? What about the woman whose fetus is dead who cannot have the fetus removed legally in her state?

Abortions happened before Roe and will continue to happen. What I want is for them to be safe and available nationwide. I stood on the U.S. Supreme Court steps with a friend who had submitted a brief about her illegal abortion experience.

Retracting a 49-year national right to privacy and choice — for women to have an abortion — is unthinkable to me. Fetal viability has always been a justifiable limiting factor. Having an abortion is a very hard private choice for any woman to make, but it should be made by the woman and needs to be available nationwide.

Pam Person


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