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July 19, 2019

6/20/2019 11:27:00 AM
Don't curtail a woman's rights

Dear Editor:
Writing as an Emerita Research Professor of Social Welfare and Public Policy, this is an open letter to Republican legislators Todd Novak and Howard Marklein.
If you and fellow Republicans persist in your attempts to curtail a woman's right to reproductive choice, based upon the perspective that life begins at conception, thus rendering a fetus a person, you will be creating a public policy nightmare that sends Wisconsin down a rabbit hole because:
If a fetus is a person, the mother who is feeding and caring for it while it develops in her body is entitled to child support from the fetus's father from the moment of conception. This means men who impregnate women will be obligated to pay child support and maternal health care costs as soon as the pregnancy is confirmed, usually within two weeks of having sex.
Immigrants who become pregnant in the US cannot be deported because their fetuses were conceived in the US and thus are American citizens. Deporting US citizens from their own country is illegal.
Pregnant women cannot be incarcerated because to do also incarcerates another person whose due process rights have been denied, thus unlawfully imprisons the fetus.
Fetuses must be assigned names and social security number at conception so they can access private rights and public resources, such as being included on census records and as a tax deduction on parental tax returns.
A parent is entitled to take out a life insurance policy on the fetus and later make a claim if the fetus dies and the mother miscarries.
Finally, a boycott of Wisconsin agricultural products and tourism will occur. This has already begun in states that have passed more restrictive abortion laws and, in economic terms, these efforts have been remarkably effective.
This current, male-driven public policy nightmare that attempts to claim agency over a woman's body, and her life, has trivialized pregnancy to the point that "pro-life" legislation has made the US the only first-world country where the maternal mortality rate continues to rise. It is actually dangerous for a woman to become pregnant in Iowa and it is safer to give birth in Poland than in Texas.
It irrationally silly to characterize this Republican-led political initiative as pro-life, and continuing to join fellow Republicans in pushing Wisconsin into this political maelstrom calls your leadership ability into serious question.
Paula vW. Dáil, PhD
Spring Green, WI

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