Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Another Open Letter (regarding 1293)

Sounds like, sadly, another number will become part of our vocabulary.... My dear spouse wrote this letter today to State Sen. Ryan Maher, (D-Isabel) co-sponsor of the abortion bill, just brought forward today (HB1293). This new one, although it has exceptions (ugly condescending ones, but they are exceptions) is in some ways is more devaluing, disrespectful, and condescending to women than HB1215 was last year. The language used is quite telling--see the excellent summary and analysis provided over at CHAD. I'm trying to find the strength to saddle up and ride--hopefully cooler heads will prevail in Pierre and the smart folks there will find of a way to keep this from becoming law.

Dear Senator,

I am so disheartened to see that you are on the list of sponsors for this bill. I know that you are "pro-life," and I respect that, because I, too, am adamantly "pro-life" as well. Abortion is a painful reality in today's society, a decision that is not usually come to lightly. Many of us who believe in choice also believe in protecting life, and also know that legislating and imposing morality simply does not solve the problem of abortion. It is a problem rooted in deeper issues, and as a Democrat, I would have hoped that you would understand that. Once again, the restrictions in this bill will not address these issues, and they will certainly not reduce the number of abortions performed in South Dakota. If this bill is passed and eventually challenges Roe V. Wade, as it is certain to do, it will only strengthen the Supreme Court's decision, rather than address the issues that contribute to the reasons women and children seek to have abortions in the first place.

I know that you follow your heart and your convictions, and I have met you and know that yours is a kind spirit. Please, I urge you, withdraw your name from this bill. Do you really want your name associated with the likes of Van Etten, Hunt, and Howie? I know that you are different from them. I know that your ideals and values are not in line with theirs. And I know that you believe there is a better way. You were not elected to be a crusader on this issue, and you do the state of South Dakota and your constituents a disservice by acting as such.

Most sincerely,

Beth Wojahn
Rapid City

p.s. I encourage you to read a piece written by my mother. She is an ordained pastor, and she wrote this during the election in response to the question, "Can one be pro-life and pro-choice at the same time?" Not only is my mother an eloquent writer, she is wise, and has seen the suffering of many. Please consider her words prayerfully.

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