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Letter: Women need to know their options

Is it about choice or isn't it?

When we have an important decision to make, we want the facts. When we buy a car or a new house or when we choose our career path, we want to know the ramifications of each option we are considering. Even with something as routine as immunizations, we receive lengthy forms explaining the risks of the procedure. Knowing the risks helps us to make educated decisions -- decisions about whether the benefits outweigh the risks and whether we are willing to take those risks. The bigger the decision, the more important it is to have the facts. What could be a bigger decision than whether to give birth or terminate the life within you?

Currently there are several bills before the state Legislature that would help educate a pregnant woman about her options and the ramifications of those options. HB 1371 would give a mother the opportunity to see an ultrasound of her unborn child. She isn't required to have this done or to view it, but it would be offered. HB 1445 explains to a woman that she is terminating the life of a unique human being, again enabling her to make an educated choice in a difficult situation. SB 2265, which has passed in both the Senate and the House, requires that abortion facilities post a notice stating that no one can coerce a woman into having an abortion -- ensuring that a young woman knows it is her choice to decide what to do about her pregnancy, not the choice of her boyfriend, husband, parents or medical personnel.

Many, if not most, Dickinsonians are pro-life. Both Rep. Wald and Sen. Wardner are representing us well at the capital this session. But one lone voice stands out against the values of her people: Nancy Johnson. Rep. Johnson has voted against every single bill that would help a woman to make an educated choice. Even when 83 of her colleagues could see the benefits of these bills, Rep. Johnson refused to allow women to have the information necessary to make a good, enlightened decision.

Is it about choice or is it about a legislator pushing her values on a woman in crisis? 

When we go to the polls in 2010, let us exercise our freedom of choice. Let us elect someone who will promote real choice -- informed choice.

Barb Little,