Roe v. Wade: It's Personal for me
"Last night and today, I feel that same feeling of intense fear that I have felt every time our rights are under attack – and if that is how you feel, I want you to know that you do not owe the world a coherent response right now." Here's my attempt at one:
May 3, 2022 - Last night, I was meeting with a group of young people between the ages of 14 and 18 in my district to hear about the issues important to them and answer their questions. Their energy, intelligence, and enthusiasm filled me with hope for what the next generation can accomplish. But when I left that meeting, I looked at my phone and saw the news of the leaked Supreme Court decision. While this is a draft decision, subject to change, the likely outcome seems to be a dramatic reversal of our rights under Roe v. Wade. This is the intentional and calculated outcome of decades of Republican attacks on our fundamental freedoms.
I think that sometimes elected officials and candidates rush to make statements in response to happenings like this, because rage makes it so easy to speak. But for me, I had to sit with my feelings before knowing what to say. My overwhelming response was not anger, but fear. Last night and today, I feel that same feeling of intense fear that I have felt every time our rights are under attack – and if that is how you feel, I want you to know that you do not owe the world a coherent response right now.
I have a medical condition that makes pregnancy very dangerous for me, with significant risk of complications, some of which are life-threatening. I love my IUD because it helps me feel like I’ve taken every precaution necessary to prevent pregnancy, but I also feel more comfortable knowing that I have options that might save my life if I do become pregnant. If you need an abortion today, you still have that right, though access is not easy for everyone.
People who can become pregnant deserve options – and our government needs to stay out of these very personal, confidential decisions made by the only people who truly know all the factors at play. I’ve spent the past year and a half in the PA House, sitting on the Health Committee, defending our rights to reproductive freedom. There is no piece of legislation that my Republican colleagues could write with enough exceptions to cover every individual person’s need, despite their arguments to the contrary, and my argument to them is that our government should never place someone in a position where they ever must beg for an exception: Our bodies, our choice.
My lived experience so clearly demonstrates that abortion is healthcare. That’s why I am going to continue to fight for reproductive justice in Pennsylvania’s House. It’s why I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure we have a Democratic governor who can veto the terrible restrictions proposed by the Republicans in the General Assembly. And it’s why I’m asking you to join me in donating to local abortion funds now.