Kayla Schmidt, Minot
I had the misfortune of reading Margaret Sitte's June 2 letter and Mary Graner's June 9 letter on the Opinion Page. Bullies. Both ladies used loaded language to impose shame upon women across North Dakota. Each make vague claims and cite skewed statistics and "scientific" facts to determine that termination harms women physically and emotionally ("even if they may not realize it for years" says Sitte)-far more likely, a society where women must seek unsafe, illegal procedures will yield much more instant examples of such harm.
Abortion doesn't exist because of clinics, clinics exist because women need a safe place. They need healthcare, options, and advice. I don't want a lawmaker to tell me how to handle my body. Those who condemn women for their right to choose don't know me. Or my sisters, my friends, the 50 percent of the population who have watched the government interfere with the most private parts of our lives.
Graner manages to miss the point completely when she signs off with "Make the right choice choose life. Your mother did!" Yes. My mother chose. Educated, financially and emotionally stable, and in a dedicated relationship, she knew she could raise me in an environment full of advantage. Had she, like many other women in our state, felt herself incapable of providing for a child, her decision would have made no difference to pre-me-a collection of cells. Motherhood goes beyond the womb. It is not a love to be taken lightly. Feminist Caitlin Moran puts it simply, "I can't agree with a society that would force me to bet on how much I could love under duress." How can I even think of raising a healthy, loving family in a state where my potential sons and daughters would see our leaders practice misogyny in legislature and letters to the editor scream misguided facts and scold women deemed guilty for simply taking control of their own bodies and decisions and futures?
That type of society scares the life out of me.