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It’s my body — not the government’s

To the editor:

On June 24, the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, ending 50 years of precedent protecting Americans’ rights to privacy and abortion-related health care — an egregious step back for gender equality and human rights as a whole.

This will hurt the well-being and health of millions of women across the country. This decision terrifies me as it should every one of you.

Abortion affects not only pregnant women but also the people around them. Those people will also have to help carry the mental and financial burden of being forced into a pregnancy. Around 6% of young women aged 15-35 have an unintended pregnancy and around 1.4% of women of childbearing age get an abortion. Overturning Roe v. Wade could potentially lead to a 21% increase in pregnancy-related deaths.

Keeping abortion protected and safe will then also reduce the amount children in foster care and the amount of child abuse/neglect cases because there will be fewer unwanted children.

The problem is that this decision isn’t going to make the abortions stop, it’s just going to make them increasingly dangerous, expensive, and unequal, as only people who live in legal states or those who can afford to travel will be able to get the procedure. People seeking the medical help they need will be denied based solely on geographic happenstance.

Doctors will be afraid to treat their patients in need, increasing the danger of even non-abortion women’s health services. Things like Plan B will be withheld from patients and they will be forced to carry a pregnancy to term if they can’t afford to travel to a safe location to receive medical attention. An issue many women will encounter when medical issues arise during their pregnancy.

Supreme Court justices let their personal preference outweigh long-standing precedent and the desire of 61% of the population here in the United States. Their decision reinforces old norms of women as second-class, subservient citizens who aren’t allowed to have agency in determining their future.

I want to make my path in life, and to do that I need to be able to make personal medical decisions on my own, without a zealous minority of the country making it for me and for others like me.

I am being forced to grow up in a country where I have less bodily autonomy than previous generations — my generation has lost rights and looks to lose more in the near future. This decision by five old men and a woman takes away future generations’ abilities to prosper as past generations have. Abortion should be legal because it’s my body and it’s my choice — not the government’s.

Kiyla Kolden

New Ulm

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