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Governor John Bel Edwards for Louisiana:
Please allow me to make perfectly clear that while you may have ensured the children birthed in our state are taken care of after they exit the womb – something I find quite difficult given that we as a state rank as 50’th when it comes to education – as a Pastor I believe you nor I as a man have a single thing to say when it comes to regulating a woman’s right to choose.
Furthermore Sir, this is simply part of a larger plan for the group backing this legislation to get Roe overturned. Surely, you know this. Which means if you know this, you do not care about a woman’s right to choose – something I might add GOD Himself allows – or, you do not care that women across this land may lose their rights. Either way: Men should NOT have a position on this matter unless it is not premised on religion. But that is not what is taking place, Sir.
Everyone from the conservative troop is saying that the fetus is viable once a heartbeat is detected. How about you ask a doctor whether pulling one of those fetuses out of a mother’s womb once that heart beat is detected is truly viable? You and I both know it is not. Further, if one really and truly believes the fetus is a child, why do they always refer to the “child” living in the woman’s body an “it.” This is simply a strategy for you to get re-elected, however while you very well may be a man of principle Sir, so are me and my wife, Susan Widger Bear and I can tell you that you just lost our vote.
To be clear: My wife clearly would prefer to not have abortions across this land, but she is wise enough to know that people must make choices, difficult at times, and most often heartbreaking decisions, but those decisions should be that woman’s, not some man who serves in the State legislature and decides to be loyal to an ideology more than the rights of women. This is an all out war on women, and one cannot support this legislation without being at war with women. I can tell you with confidence as a journalist, that you WILL endure a primary fight – and will LOSE as we find someone who will represent ALL people of this state without selling themselves short to a republican wedge issue. Again: You have lost my wife’s and my vote. Full Stop.
Anti-Abortion measures taken in this land are all attempts to impose what one’s personal moral belief is, always predicated on the Judeo-Christian values conservatives believe this country should be run by. While I obviously have zero problem with one’s faith and belief, I see not one shred of evidence in the Holy Scriptures which tells those of faith that THEIR OPINION ALONE matters. Abortion is not just a church issue or even a Christian issue. It is an AMERICAN issue involving more than Christians and more than sectarian morality.
Furthermore, the issue must take into account the social context of what matters and what does not. If, in fact, we had medical doctors telling us that the fetus was indeed viable at the moment a heart beat is heard, I do believe you would see a very weak argument.
Before 1973 and the Roe decision, are you aware that 39 deaths occurred which were the result of those women seeking alternative ways to abort, whether they were back allies, or in other ways.
American women are NOT ignoring moral concerns in supporting the right of a woman in our SECULAR society moral beliefs must be balanced by Constitutional Rights. Despite this, once again, Evangelicals will have none of this. As a way to circumvent not only stare decis, specifically Roe v. Wade they have now Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) laws that restrict abortion access; something which has always been their right under Roe’s ruling. Hence, the war on women.
Twenty-seven states controlled by TRAP laws which have placed onerous requirements on abortion clinics, such as (1) meeting the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers, usually forcing facility renovations clinics cannot afford,a (2) requiring doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals that in most cases resort to denying such privileges while also (3) requiring a woman to wait 24 to 48 hours, and (4) forcing a woman to have an ultrasound prior to getting a procedure.
Perhaps the most potent question, Governor: Why do the legislators who so strongly believe women should not have an abortion not want to allow that same woman contraception? Answer: They want to install a theocratic government – something not remotely scriptural at this day and time – all to promote THEIR religion while decrying those who do not look the same as they do: and I ought to know because I have been licensed and ordained for over 30 years now, in the Southern Baptist Convention. What about making a law making it illegal for a man to have non-consensual sex? You say we have one, but look at the irregularities of implementing that law. And finally, if men are so concerned about women getting pregnant, and obtaining an abortion, why not just make it illegal for them to have ANY sex whatsoever. Why is all the responsibility placed upon the female?
Why risk your re-election over signing this Bill? Because you think you will win over conservatives? You may wish to think that one over again, Sir. We need to keep control of governorships and statehouses as much as possible.
I humbly ask you reconsider your position, specifically the issues I brought up to you. Will you? I believe you have the courage, but I also fear re-election powers are too much to consider here.