‘Preserve a woman’s right to choose’

10/28/2021, 6 p.m.
Life is full of choices. From the decision to follow a particular faith to the adoption of a distinct world ...

Life is full of choices. From the decision to follow a particular faith to the adoption of a distinct world view, our civil liberties have been exercised since the conception of this nation. And with the new Texas abortion law that went into effect Sept. 1, our freedom to choose has been stripped away from us.

Our Founding Fathers believed in certain unalienable rights — rights that make this nation exceptional and allow for freedom of speech, religion and the press among many other things. Yet how can we achieve freedom in public life when the government intervenes in our most intimate affairs?

The Texas law violates the people’s right to choose, and more specifically, a woman’s right to choose.

As an American and also as a Black woman, I struggle to understand how we’ve arrived at this decision — how we have allowed a government comprised mostly of men to make choices for women that will negatively alter the course of their lives. It’s a decision that prevents a woman from deciding whether she is physically, emotionally or financially capable of bringing another life into this world after finding out that she is six weeks pregnant.

We may never know the reasons why a young mother doesn’t want to keep her child or why she is incapable of doing so, but this should not be the government’s decision to make. When there is an assault on women’s bodies and on their rights, it is up to us, as a society, to band together and pursue a greater cause — a cause that empowers freedom of choice.

Roe v. Wade permits women to make the decisions that guide their lives, giving them clarity and control over their bodies. To them, pro-choice does not mean anti-life. It means making those hard decisions that they know would be for the better.

According to the World Health Organization, more than 22,000 women die annually as a result of unsafe abortions. Every year, between 2 million and 7 million women survive unsafe abortions but suffer long-term effects. Without policymakers and government officials providing the freedom of choice and access to safe medical practices, we are only exacerbating these effects by enforcing legislation as severe as the Texas ban on abortion.

Because of the Texas legislation, women will resort to harmful procedures in order to stop an unwanted pregnancy. They will seek medical advice from individuals who are inexperienced in the profession, contributing to the growing number of annual deaths. It is my duty, as well as yours, to not let this happen.

The Texas legislation is both immoral and unconstitutional. Rather than government agencies enforcing the statute, Texas politicians have framed it to be enforced by private citizens. A provision of the law states that anyone, including those outside the borders of Texas, is allowed to sue for $10,000 if they believe someone administered an abortion after “cardiac activity” is detected in the fetus, roughly six weeks along.

I urge that you do your part to preserve a woman’s right to privacy and choice. We all have choices to make, but it should not be up to the government to determine the decisions that will alter the course of our lives.


Henrico County