Abortion rights are front and center this election. Reproductive freedom is about women controlling their own destinies – to make decisions for themselves. As a woman – and the only woman who will be in the Teton County delegation to Cheyenne, should I be elected – I understand why this is a fundamental right, a right to privacy – and not something left for politicians to decide. Such a decision can be complex, nuanced and difficult, and is best made by a woman, her family and her doctor.
I am the only candidate for House District 23 who has stated that I will fight for women’s reproductive freedom as protected by the US Supreme Court’s Roe V. Wade decision that has been the law for fifty years. Just like the law states, Liz does not support late-term abortions.Teton County’s Republican candidates for the legislature have been all over the map: suggesting they do – and don’t – support the trigger ban, saying they are “pro-life but also pro-choice,” saying they would put reproductive freedom on the ballot or force sterilization of women or, perhaps, most honestly, admit they are “still working through the details of their stance on access to abortion.”
Earlier this year, the Wyoming legislature voted to criminalize abortion except in the instances of rape, incest or when the life of a woman is in danger. This is government infringement upon an individual’s personal rights. Such a law fails to address obvious questions such as: Will a woman’s word be enough to convince a judge she can terminate the pregnancy? How exactly does her physician determine when her life is in danger and the procedure is lawful? When does a miscarriage allow the use of abortion care drugs? And when faced with termination for medical reasons of the fetus, who should decide? While the law to criminalize abortion is being challenged by brave women from our community, such provisions make it difficult for medical professionals to practice, further threatening our access to healthcare.
We can hope that our Wyoming Supreme Court upholds Judge Owens’ finding that the state’s abortion ban is unconstitutional, but it is almost assured that legislators will attempt to outlaw abortion once again. When that happens, we’ll need strong voices in Cheyenne, not someone still working through the details. I will work hard to educate every legislator willing to listen to the reasons why such a ban goes up against women’s fundamental rights in a democracy. And that such a right should not be put up to a popular vote.
In the decades I’ve been engaged in state policy in Wyoming, I‘ve learned that when constituents sit down with their representatives and explain the real challenges they face, we can make progress. It’s why I will be an effective representative for Teton County.
Let’s not ask our young women and girls to fight this battle all over again for the next fifty years. Stand with me in our support of women’s rights and elect me to be your representative this November.