Updated: Jul 8, 2022
The issue of abortion may be the most divisive in our country today. There are enraged and passionate people on both sides, which can cause many of us to ignore the very pragmatic space in the middle that most of us occupy.
Abortion is a difficult--and very necessary--aspect of female healthcare. And in a world plagued by poverty, sexual violence, wage inequality, pregnancy discrimination, poor maternal outcomes and more, it is extremely important in this moment that above all, we preserve the most fundamental right of all: the right to self determination.
Because what is forced pregnancy other than a form of indentured servitude?
Can we force a person to give birth when at the same time we would deny them access to the healthcare they need to safely give birth? Because now in 2022, it's 2-3x more dangerous for women to give birth in the US than it was in the 1980s.
Can we force a person to give birth who cannot afford the most basic necessities to see a pregnancy through to term? Because many people lack access to the nutritious food, safe and reliable housing, safe and reliable transportation to/from doctor, proper clothing and other basic essentials required resulting in long-term financial impacts on pregnant people and their families.
Can we force women to give birth at the risk of loss of jobs, wages and healthcare? Because workplace discrimination against pregnant people is real and results in withheld promotions, outright demotions, loss of wages and even job termination. And in a society where most families are reliant on two incomes and healthcare only comes at the will of a person's employer, this reality can have a devastating impact on working families.
Can we allow states to prosecute doctors for providing necessary healthcare to their patients? Because that's what most of the anti-abortion laws are designed to do. The precedent set by allowing individual feelings or motivations to become a matter for the government to decide in determining health outcomes for their citizens is not something state legislatures should ever have power over.
Can we allow states to run roughshot over the very concept of doctor-patient confidentiality to score political points? Because none of the anti-abortion laws states have passed are enforceable without giving the government access to private medical records.
And then go read Thomas' opinion overturning Roe v Wade: THEY'RE NOT DONE YET.
According to Thomas, next they could go after contraception, gay marriage--even gay sex.
Is this really the America you want? One where state governments get to decide which healthcare procedures you get access to and under what circumstances? One where we force millions of LGBTQ+ family members and friends back into hiding or else go to jail for loving who they love? One where we don't allow couples to prevent pregnancy and then force women to give birth against their will?
This is not the America I dedicated my career to defend.
HD-19 deserves a representative who supports reproductive rights. HD-19 deserves a representative that believes in protecting the rights of LGBTQ+ friends and families.
HD-19 deserves representation, period.
I was grateful to be joined by a number of Weld County voters, along with thousands of others from across Colorado, as we marched through Denver for reproductive rights. This isn’t a “Blue” or “Red” issue; this is a human rights issue.
Abortion rights are reproductive rights. Reproductive rights are human rights.