An Open Letter to the Gentlemen Sponsoring H.R. 586 — Sanctity of Human Life Act
I am writing this letter out of deep concern for the bill you have co-sponsored regarding abortion. I understand abortion is an unpleasant topic, and I think many people, myself included, would rather not think about the subject. However as a woman of reproductive age, the bill you have cosponsored no longer makes that an option for me, as it potentially brings my medical decisions into the political realm.
My concern regarding H.R. 586 is the bill leaves no room for the health and wellbeing of the mother, nor the viability of the fetus. The wording of the bill sets a clear platform to make all abortion illegal. It would be wonderful if we lived in a world where abortion was never necessary, however many women do not live in such a world. The reality is there are situations where complications arise putting the life of both the mother and the fetus at risk. How to proceed in such situations should be decided between medical providers and their patients, not Congress.
Additionally, granting all constitutional privileges of personhood to a fetus, regardless of health, function, disability or defect is particularly alarming for me personally. In 2014, after trying to conceive for over two years, my husband and I were able to get pregnant. Our child was wanted and intended. Testing also showed our son had a condition called trisomy 13, which leads to profound mental and physical disabilities. I encourage you to see what this condition does if you are unfamiliar with it. Our very much-wanted child, if he survived to term, would only know incomprehensible suffering. I was just about to begin my second trimester when the test results came back, and I miscarried naturally shortly thereafter, which spared us from making what would no doubt have been the hardest decision of our lives. There are women, families, who are not as fortunate as my husband and I. If our son still had a heartbeat, it is very likely my doctor, my husband, and I would have proceeded with an abortion. This decision would not have been made lightly, and would have been no different than taking a loved one off life support. It would have been a decision made to spare a loved one from suffering.
As a US citizen, I never imagined I would need to beg for equal treatment under the law, but here we are, and I am willing to beg. I beg you to consult with an obstetrician, I beg you to read the stories of women who had an abortion out of medical necessity. Most importantly, I beg you to reconsider your stance on this bill. Please leave medical decisions between doctors and their patients. Please do not let this bill go further than it already has.
Thank you for your time, I appreciate you reading my letter, and I hope you give my words some consideration.
An American Woman
For those reading this letter, the Representatives sponsoring this bill are as follows: Jody Hice, Rick Allen, Earl Carter, Doug Collins, Eric Crawford, Jeff Duncan, Blake Farenthold, Drew Ferguson, Trent Franks, Tom Graves, Glenn Grothman, Bill Johnson, Robert Latta, Billy Long, Barry Loudermilk, Pete Olson, David Roe, Steve Russell, Austin Scott, Joe Wilson, Rob Woodall, Dave Brat, Robert Pittenger, and Todd Rokita.