The issue of women’s rights is more than just about reproductive rights. It is an issue of human rights. This goes beyond a belief system or a set of principles. The freedom of everyone, but especially women⎼who have been treated as subjects or less than for centuries in cultures and societies around the globe⎼over their own bodies is paramount to our participation in a democracy and free society.
“I consider it presumption in anyone to pretend to decide what women are or are not, can or cannot be, by natural constitution. They have always hitherto been kept, as far as regards spontaneous development, in so unnatural a state, that their nature cannot but have been greatly distorted and disguised; and no one can safely pronounce that if women’s nature were left to choose its direction as freely as men’s, and if no artificial bent were attempted to be given to it except that required by the conditions of human society, and given to both sexes alike, there would be any material difference, or perhaps any difference at all, in the character and capacities which would unfold themselves.” -John Stuart Mill
I wholeheartedly believe in not only a woman’s right to choose when it comes to reproductive decisions, but also her right to be treated as equal in all aspects of society, business and governance.
When it comes to a woman making a difficult decision concerning reproduction, the conversation and decision should be between the woman and her chosen healthcare professional. There should be no infringement by the government, judgement by society or accusations of criminality. A free society such as our own protects, or should protect, women when making these decisions because when a government controls family planning and personal medical decisions, its citizens cannot be considered free.
We cannot presume to understand what a woman has gone through or is going through when it comes to her own body and reproduction decisions. Any judgement should be left in the mind in the one doing the judging. Disagreement is their prerogative, as is choice.
This is a contentious issue, but our freedom to make decisions over our own bodies is critical to so many of our other freedoms, including but not limited to our freedoms of religion, protest, and peaceable assembly. Women must have the freedom of their own healthcare decisions, including abortion.
Going forward, we should be focused on:
Expanded funding for Planned Parenthood
Increased education, resources and opportunities for women, especially minorities, underprivileged and the underserved, regarding reproductive options
Ending all forms of discrimination against women by supporting legislation that hold violators of blatant sexual bias accountable
Equal pay for equal work
[X] indicates an anti-reproductive rights vote by Rep. Jack Bergman, who has voted against Women's Rights at every opportunity.