To the Editor:
In the waning hours of the Rhode Island General Assembly, the leadership moved to quickly push through legislation creating a “Choose Life” license plate.
There is a multi-pronged assault against women that is imperiling abortion rights, birth control, sex education and women’s lives. Nearly every week new laws are proposed and enacted that will concretely close clinics. And it is delusional to think that what is being done to women in Texas, North Carolina, Ohio, North Dakota, Mississippi and beyond won’t make it to the coasts and major cities if this trajectory is not reversed.
Ninety-seven percent of rural counties have no abortion providers, and clinics keep closing. Courageous doctors are hunted, stalked, terrorized and threatened by religious, women-hating fanatics. For too long, activists have been relying upon politicians, instead of themselves, as yesterday’s outrages become today’s compromises.
It is no accident that abortion rights are so divisive. How one thinks and feels about abortion fundamentally reflects how one feels about women. This fight is not about babies; it seeks to control and reduce women to childbearing chattel. Not a single major anti-abortion organization supports birth control.
Forcing women to have children they don’t want traps them in abusive relationships, drives them into poverty, forces them from school and extinguishes their dreams. For women to function fully as human beings, they need un-stigmatized access to birth control and abortion, and need to decide for themselves when or if they should have children.
Forced motherhood is female enslavement. And opposed to the interests of humanity.
John St. Lawrence