Reproductive Autonomy: Dimming of Rights

I love the Opt Ed section of the paper. I believe we all need to write at least one letter on something we’re passionate about in our lifetime. In saying that, I applaud this reader

Newsprint | Sappi Global

The overturning of Roe v. Wade has centered reproductive health care rights as an issue in the upcoming election. As a woman long past reproductive age, I am concerned that people understand how meaningful this issue is for everybody, not just people who can get pregnant.

The issue of reproductive autonomy did not appear in the Constitution. After all, the founders of our country did not spell out everything.

They did spell out that some things went without saying, “We hold these truths to be self-evident” and that they were not listing all their assumptions, “and among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” One thing that went without saying about citizens was that if you were one, you had bodily autonomy.

Slaves were not citizens and had no bodily autonomy. And since women’s freedoms could require the “permission” of another, they were not citizens either.

We tend to think citizenship is like a light — either on or off. Well, curtailing bodily autonomy is like building in a dimmer switch. You’re sort of a citizen — almost.

Today the people who can get pregnant have the obvious loss to their citizenship. Tomorrow it may be you. Please vote.

Katherine Knowlton, Burien

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