Your View: New abortion clinic laws undercut individual rights


To the editor:
    Often, emphasis is placed on the largest group; the loudest voice facilitates change. This is especially true when considering the recent passage of SB 924 in Virginia.  
    Even though the Congressional Budget Office concluded that spending per capita for obese adults exceeded spending for adults of a normal weight by 38 percent in 2007, Americans still have the right to be obese and make choices about their bodies. Your access to quality care is not limited because you are overweight.  
    Although I did not choose to be a woman, my access to care is limited because I am. Virginias legislature recently passed a law that included an amendment to increase the states regulation of abortion clinics. The extent of the enforcement will be determined by the Virginia Board of Health, but it could cause several  of Virginias 21 clinics to close due to mandatory cosmetic alterations.  
    This should disgust those of you who place an emphasis on individual rights. This hidden amendment affects my ability to exercise my constitutional right to care. Anyone who prefers a more utilitarian approach to politics should be bothered by the fact that this law will most likely affect low-income and uninsured women, as this group will be the least able to cope with geographical and economic deterrents. These changes will not decrease abortion rates nor make them safer.  
    So, where are you on this matter? Why arent you outraged? This provision was passed in a back-door manner, but there has been no public outcry. This new law makes Virginia one of the strictest states in terms of womens reproductive rights. Many other states are currently debating this topic. The people of Virginia can have a national impact. 
    As Helen Keller said, I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do. Please.  Let your voices be heard. 

– Elizabeth Hackett