Letters to the Editor

Kansas offers inspiring confirmation

Aug 9 2022, 6:10 AM

No doubt some women regret having had abortions, especially if they suffer religious guilt. And no doubt some regret not having had abortions, though they may not feel free to say so. 

But voluminous testimony shows that most women who undergo competently performed abortions are simply relieved and grateful.

Whatever the numbers, regret over some decisions is a part of life and absolutely not justification for denying our right to make choices, including, for women, whether to continue or terminate a pregnancy.

Abortion bans enacted or pending in several states are arbitrary, malicious and punitive. Many women will escape by going elsewhere for abortions, but many will have to endure involuntary pregnancy and childbirth and suffer great and lasting harm of many kinds. We must fight these bans in every possible way, including evasion, civil disobedience, referendum, refusal to implement (as some red state prosecutors and even governors have pledged) — by throwing "sand in every damn gear," as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez aptly put it.

It's a given that states like Vermont and California will adopt constitutional amendments guaranteeing reproductive freedom. But the overwhelming defeat of an anti-abortion amendment in ultraconservative Kansas offers inspiring confirmation that Americans will not tolerate annulment of their rights by the SCOTUS majority hit squad. As writer Sarah Smarsh beautifully wrote in The New York Times, "All reasonable Americans must plant ourselves in a long row and lock arms against the terrible wind from the far right. As we brace together for this post-Roe season, take heart: In the first battle, Kansas held the line."

Judy Olinick

Middlebury