Open Forum: Women have the right to make educated health care decisions – The Winchester Star


Im an advocate for womens reproductive rights and a supporter of a womans right to make an educated and informed decision about her health care.

We can all agree that the topic of abortion is sensitive. Abortion rights cannot be solved with the cookie cutter approach. The fact is that the restrictive laws that were passed in Texas do not even represent good medical practices. It is not logical, or even ethical, to say that every abortion performed after six weeks should be illegal or punishable under law.

An obvious example is an abortion performed because of pregnancy that occurs after a rape, incest, or molestation. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 3 million women in the United States have experienced rape-related pregnancies. I know that statistics may be hard to understand, and I dont know 3 million people. But what I do know is that one woman experiencing a rape-related pregnancy is one woman too many.

Furthermore, you cannot have a conversation about ending abortion without addressing the reasons why women seek abortions. Abortion is not an easy choice. According to the CDC, Black women are more likely to seek abortion than non-Black women. There are unique barriers that Black women face that prevent them from making a good living to support their families. They often face discrimination and prejudice in the workplace. They may not be able to obtain a higher education when they work and have no support system or time to attend school after work.

So, Texas, instead of worrying about and trying to control what your neighbor is doing with her body, how about asking, What can I do to help her? How can we end this cycle of wanting a better life, but not being able to afford something better? Better health care, better education, better jobs, simply better opportunities? Not only am I asking this of Texas, I am asking our nation, and I am also asking us Winchester and Frederick County. What can we do to make our neighbors life a little easier? You can donate your dollars or donate your time. The need for abortion is clearly tied to the lack of financial stability in the lives of women. The world needs more love and kindness than judgment and hate.

A womans right to make an informed, educated choice about her health care is not limited to abortions. We deserve access to good, sound health care. This is your friendly reminder to schedule your pelvic exam, your pap smear done, and your yearly mammogram. A woman deserves the right to choose the most effective birth control method for herself. Legislators want to make abortions so hard to obtain, but in the same breath, they make the cost of birth control products and methods outrageously expensive and limit birth control options.

Remember legislators, women have entire human bodies, head to toe, not just reproductive organs.

Larriette Thompson is a resident of Winchester.

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Open Forum: Women have the right to make educated health care decisions - The Winchester Star

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