Jan. 22 marked the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that ruled that the Constitution protects the right of women to choose abortion as a legitimate parenting option.

On the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, women’s health rights were threatened. Anti-choice politicians were poised to introduce legislation that would deny health care to American women.

In the 2010 election, a significant number of opponents of women’s health rights, including Maine’s new governor, Paul LePage, were swept into office by a wave of economic discontent. Rather than focusing on the economy, they pulled a bait and switch by introducing bills that would deny American women sexual health care.

Conservatives are working to strip family planning funding from Planned Parenthood. If that happens, millions of women who rely on Planned Parenthood for their primary preventive health care — including annual exams, life-saving cancer screenings and STD treatment — would lose this access.

How can we allow our representatives to deny millions of women life-saving affordable health care?

On the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I hope the public will consider the implications of that type of legislation.

I understand that abortion divides many, yet I believe there must be a cost-benefit analysis of any effort to de-fund family planning clinics such as Planned Parenthood. It seems to me that since these clinics are the primary source of preventive health care to millions of women, it would be far worse to deny them their right to a healthy life.

Taylor Cook, Lewiston


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