Letter: Joining the fight to protect women's rights

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Editor of the Reformer,

As a member of the local group, Reproductive Health Care Advocates, and on behalf of all its members I want to thank the Brooks House for providing the space for our local Planned Parenthood to build its new clinic. It says so much about Brattleboro that this clinic is going to be a proud part of one of our downtown anchor buildings.          

As a Vermonter, I'd like to thank our legislature for looking at laws that we might pass as a state to protect a woman's right to make her own health care and pregnancy decisions. I'm grateful, also, to Attorney General TJ Donovan for joining other states in the lawsuit to protect the right to get contraception services as a part of our health insurance. It's sad that these battles still have to be fought. I'm proud of our state for joining the fight.

As a man, I'd like to encourage other men to consider that having this new clinic here is not just good news for women. There are benefits for all. If more men took responsibility for family planning, it would be a good thing. The clinic will likely do referrals so that men can have the simple procedure to make the risk of pregnancy non-existent. I have also found by belonging to the Advocates that there are more things men can do to be supportive.

As a progressive, I hope to see the day when Planned Parenthood is free from attack and no longer a lightning rod for ambitious, well-funded politicians who see family planning, contraception, and abortion as wedge issues to drive us apart; by "us" I mean the people who vote, the people who ought to work together to tackle the most challenging issues of the day: climate change, income inequality, immigration reform, racism, health care, and mass incarceration.

We're living in a dark time of anger and backlash aimed at women. It's sad, it's a shame, and it takes a lot of our attention. The bright spots need to be recognized, praised, supported, and protected in every way we can.

Peter Gould

Brattleboro, Jan. 15


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