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My belief about women and reproductive rights:  women, in consultation with their doctors, should make the difficult and emotional decision to terminate a pregnancy, not politicians.

We can all agree to that Tennessee women sometimes become pregnant when they did not expect to.  We can also agree that some of these women want to terminate their pregnancy for any number of reasons – maybe they can’t support the child, maybe they were impregnated during a rape, maybe they were molested, and impregnated, by a relative, maybe they have a medical condition that will make a pregnancy difficult and dangerous.  

The question that divides us is what should be done about the women who want to terminate their pregnancy.  Republican leaders say that a pregnancy should not be terminated for any reason: that the woman who terminates a pregnancy is committing murder; that a woman impregnated by a rapist should be forced to carry and have the child; that a woman may be burdened with caring for a child with a birth abnormality as a result of the child’s father being a close relative; that a woman who has a miscarriage may be forced to prove that it was not an illegal abortion.  

Again, we can all agree that a decision about a possible abortion is a sad, emotional and difficult decision.  The salient question for me is:  who should make that decision?  Bill Lee, Jack Johnson, Gino Bulso?   Apparently our Republican leaders feel that they are qualified to make this trying and painful decision for all Tennessee women.  I disagree.  My view is that, while I think terminating a pregnancy is an agonizing and profound decision, in the final analysis, the one who should make this difficult decision is the woman herself.

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