Dear Mrs. or Mr. President,
In 1973 in the case of “Roe v. Wade” the supreme court decided that it is a constitutional right for a women to have an abortion. This amendment was a huge step forward for women’s rights. Fast forward 40 years, the constitutional right to make one’s own health decisions is in danger. Strict regulations in states are closing down clinics and the government is defunding planned parenthood, effectively making it impossible for women to exercise their right to an abortion. Whether or not you personally agree with abortion, these regulations are unconstitutional.
“Roe v Wade” is one of the most controversial supreme court decisions since it was released. “Roe v. Wade” was a case regarding state regulations of abortions. Before the case, most states banned or severely regulated abortions. On PBS’ “Explaining Civil Rights” the author Someone McBride? states that, “..states were forbidden from outlawing or regulating any aspect of abortion performed during the first trimester of pregnancy, could only enact abortion regulations reasonably related to maternal health in the second and third trimesters, and could enact abortion laws protecting the life of the fetus only in the third trimester,” (McBride paragraph 1). This verdict was a huge step forward for women’s rights, because the court decided that is was within a woman's constitutional right to be able to make decisions regarding her reproduction. Even though the supreme court ruled that the right to choose is in our constitutional right, unconstitutional regulations have been put in place or are threatening to be put in place today.
The Texas law HB2 was one of the laws that put unconstitutional constraints on a woman's right to choice. These laws, created in 2013, put new regulations on abortion clinic, regulations disguised as a way to make women more safe, but in reality were just put in place to override a woman's constitutional right. In the article “Texas Governor Admits Anti-Abortion Law was About Restricting Abortion” author Marina Fang quotes Texas governor, “Texas’ goal is to protect innocent life…” (Fang Paragraph 2). This quote proved what most already knew, that the HB2 law was not to protect a women’s safety but to limit her access to abortion.
Thankfully, the Supreme Court shut down the laws because they created an unnecessary restriction on abortion rights. Even though these laws have been abolished, the damage has already been done. The restrictive laws have done what they wanted: they made it so women can’t have access to abortion. Author Naveena Sadasivam discusses these consequences in “State of Texas: Abortion Access, by the Numbers”. Sadasivam presents the fact that more than 20 clinics have been shut down since 2013, and has severely limited Texas women’s rights, especially poor women and women of color. These laws were not only limiting when active, but they changed women in Texas’ rights forever. We can’t just shut down these laws once in action, after the damage has been done, we need to prevent unconstitutional laws from being created in the first place.
Threats to defund Planned Parenthood are another way women’s right to abortion are being threatened. Government officials want to cut funding for planned parenthood because it performs abortions. On the other side, many people argue that abortions are only a small part of what planned parenthood does. While that is true, it’s irrelevant. An abortion is a safe, legal, constitutionally protected medical procedure, you can’t defund an organization for providing women with that. In his speech “Donald Trump: Full MTP Interview”, republican presidential nominee said, “I would defund [Planned Parenthood] as long as they’re doing abortions,” (Donald Trump). This is hugely problematic, not only because Planned Parenthood provides healthcare to many low income women, but because defunding Planned Parenthood is just another way to override a woman’s rights.
The laws regulating abortion are unconstitutional. As our next president, you need to protect women’s rights by drawing attention to laws that are infringing on. As our next president you need to nominate a supreme court justice that will protect women’s rights. As our next president you need to stand up for women’s rights. And, as our next president you need to continue to fund women's health. We’ve come too far to move backwards for women’s rights.
Thank you Mrs./Mr. President for your time.
Jefferson High School
Fang, Marina. “Texas Governor Admits Anti-Abortion Law Was About Restricting Abortion.” The
Huffington Post. The Huffington Post, 27 June 2016. Web. 2 November 2016.
McBride, Alex. “Roe v. Wade.” PBS. PBS, December 2006. Web. 2 November 2016.
Sadasivam, Naveena. “State of Texas: Abortion Access, by the Numbers.” Texas Observer. Texas
Observer, 10 August 2016. Web. 2 November 2016.
Trump, Donald. “Donald Trump: Full MTP Interview.” NBC News. NBC News, 20 September 2016.
Web. 2 November 2016.