Abortion bans devalue women

To the editor:

Women’s rights and healthcare are under siege in the U.S. Fortunately, in New York the passage of the Reproductive Health Act ensures that women in NY have access to a full range of reproductive healthcare services now and in the future.

Passage of Roe v Wade in 1973 upheld a woman’s right of privacy to make her own decisions about whether and when to become a parent, including the right to access safe, legal abortion services. These personal, difficult decisions made by a woman, with guidance from her health and support network, are made within the context of the woman’s faith, health, age, and circumstance.

Some of us remember horror stories prior to ’73, of women suffering the consequences of an illegal or self-inflicted abortion. Then, and in the future if states are allowed to ban abortions, an unjust two-tier system of access to abortion services will be re-established. More affluent women will be able to travel to states that protect abortion rights, while low-income women seeking an abortion will have no alternative but to attempt one themselves or seek out an illegal provider. Two options posing grave risk to women.

Demonizing and intimidating women who have made the very personal decision to have an abortion shows lack of respect and understanding. Six out of the nine states that passed abortion bans this year did not include an exemption for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest. A man rapes a child or a woman and the victim will not have the choice to abort the fetus. Yet, in some of these states, the punishment for a convicted rapist can be less than the punishment for a doctor convicted of providing the abortion. To me, these bans capsulize the misogyny running rampant in our country today.

We are better than that.

Margot Gold

Saranac Lake