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Columbia Missourian

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Politicians shouldn't be involved in women's health choices

By Sheila Greenbaum
January 22, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CST

Forty years ago this month, the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that recognized that a pregnant woman has a right to make her own decision about whether to have a child or have an abortion. Since then, some politicians have tried to wrestle that decision out of a woman’s hands. In the past two years alone, these efforts have reached record levels with elected representatives passing 135 provisions designed to interfere with a woman and her family’s private decision about abortion.

Although we don’t all feel the same way about abortion, we should be able to agree that this difficult decision is better made by a woman and her family than by politicians. Indeed, the American people have shown they don't want politicians to interfere. Who can say what the tipping point was? The bills that require a woman to have an ultrasound and look at the picture before she has an abortion? Or that all-male panel that testified before Congress about whether a woman’s insurance plan should cover her contraception? Or Todd Akin’s comment about “legitimate rape”? Regardless, one thing is clear: the American people have had enough.

Together we can stop politicians from interfering in a woman’s private health care decisions if we take the time to let them know how out-of-touch and out-of-date they are. Please join me in keeping a vigilant eye on proposed legislation in 2013.

Sheila Greenbaum is the president of the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri.