• Get out and vote
    July 31,2014
     

    Get out and vote

    As a 21-year-old college student, I am faced with a lot of choices about my life. While the sheer number of unknowns and choices that fall upon my shoulders is overwhelming at times, I am very appreciative of my opportunity to make these choices for myself. Unfortunately, two recent decisions by the Supreme Court are making me worry for the future of my choices.

    On June 26, 2014, the Supreme Court ruled the Massachusetts law which established a 35-foot buffer zone in front of reproductive care facilities unconstitutional. The Court said that the law unfairly limited freedom of speech of pro-life protestors, therefore violating the First Amendment. Just four days later, the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional the provision of the Affordable Care Act which requires private companies to provide health insurance which covers birth control to employees. In a split 5-4 decision, the justices said that closely held corporations are unfairly burdened in the practice of their religious liberty by being mandated to provide coverage of birth control against their beliefs.

    As a woman, these decisions worry me. I believe that it is between me and my doctor to decide what type of birth control is best for me, not my employer. I believe I have the right to walk into a reproductive health care facility without fear of intimidation, harassment, or unwanted remarks about my legal right to access reproductive health care.

    If the Supreme Court does not share my belief in freedom of choice, it is important to me that elected officials do. I, personally, will be looking for candidates who recognize my right to health care and my right to choose what is best for me. The recent SCOTUS decisions make it all too clear that it is crucial to vote for elected officials at the local, state, and national levels. With the overwhelming number of decisions to make in my life, voting for officials that will work to protect every individual’s access to safe, affordable health care is an easy one to make.

    Selene Clark

    Burlington

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