LETTERS: 3.20.19

To the Editor,

As a girl in the ’80s and ’90s, I grew up with a strong sense that my body was my own and that I could make decisions and choices about when and how my life as a mother would begin. This right to freedom and control over my body and life have been an essential part of my identity and pride in being American, but now those rights are at risk. The Supreme Court could soon overturn Roe v. Wade, which would block millions of people from the health care they need.

Elected officials in Vermont have the opportunity to send a clear message that they stand for the protection and preservation of reproductive rights by supporting the constitutional rights amendment and the abortion rights bill. The decision about if and when to become a parent should be up to a woman and her doctor—not politicians. I want that sense of corporal freedom for my own daughter, her peers, and all of us. If abortion goes underground again, women and girls would still have “choice,” but it would be an unsafe and criminal one on top of being emotionally fraught.

The Trump Administration has taken direct aim at birth control access and abortion rights. The constitutional amendment and H.57 ensure that every woman can make their own medical decisions with their health care providers, without politicians interfering. This amendment upholds the right of all people to health, dignity, independence and freedom to determine their own life’s course.

As a professional doula, it strikes me how little support the majority of American women have around them during their most vulnerable life passage, becoming a mother. One in five of us suffer from mental illness and many go undiagnosed and untreated, suffering in silence. It’s my opinion that many suffer because of a lack of support at home and in their communities. At a time when our society ought to be wrapping more support and resources around women of reproductive age, our federal government, and many state governments are waging war on our reproductive rights. It’s critical that the Vermont state legislature protect the rights of our present and future female population by passing the constitutional amendment and the abortion rights bill, H.57 now.

Lauriana Capone, Middlesex

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