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To the Editor: A letter appeared in the Bennington Banner recently, claiming to stand for all the women in Vermont and signed by various religious leaders. In the first paragraph of this letter, several assumptions are written as fact:

1: They represent various denominations,

2: They represent complicated moral issues and a variety of viewpoints,

3: They stand with the women of Vermont,

4: They stand for women who want abortions,

5: As faith leaders, they are compelled to take a stand to help protect women’s reproductive freedom, their decisions about their own health care, and their reproductive rights,

6: A common misconception that people of faith oppose women’s reproductive freedom and women’s right to choose,

7: 68 percent of Hindus, 60 percent of mainline Protestants, 55 percent of Muslims, and 48-56 percent of Catholics support abortion depending on the study.

As a woman from Vermont and a denomination different from theirs, I state authoritatively, conclusively that they do not speak for me. What exactly is a right, what exactly is a choice, and what exactly are reproductive rights? They say, “Every human is born equal.” Equal to what? They don’t say:

1: What the choice is,

2: What the moral decisions are,

3: They never use “foetus” or “in utero,” completely de-humanizing abortion,

4: They never mention “baby” or that abortion kills,

5: Pregnancy is not a disease,

6: We cannot “un-kill” a dead foetus.

A Gallup poll released in June 2019 discredits the “fact” that most Americans support abortion, no matter the faith. The poll found that 60 percent of Americans want all (21 percent) or almost all (39 percent) abortions made illegal. In contrast, 38 percent said they want all (25 percent) or almost all (13 percent) abortions legal.

Abortion is painful to the baby who loses her or his life, which is a life separate and distinct from the life of the mother. Abortion hurts the mother whether it is surgical or chemical. An abortion lessens the likelihood that a woman will get pregnant again. It is invasive to the woman and deadly to the child. The woman carries the emotional and mental scars forever. I have known enough women who have had abortion, and no matter how frequently a woman open her heart, the pain of her abortion remains.

Finally, there is no question biologically that once sperm from the male and cell from the female unite, another human being is created whole and unto itself.

As self-described faith leaders, you speak only for yourselves and other like-minded people who are pro-abortion. I speak for the many Catholic, Muslim, mainline Protestant, Evangelical, Buddist, Hindu, and Jewish women who are opposed to abortion, who want to make creation viable and take abortion out of the health care system. Give me the monthly check-up for pre-natal care both for the mom and the child. Let’s have healthy and happy babies morally and normally and safely. No new amendment to the Vermont Constitution is needed.

Molly Jesse,

Essex Junction


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