The Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan presidential ticket has made it clear that under their leadership women would no longer have sovereignty over their own bodies, lives and health.

Politicians would.

Romney supports overturning Roe v. Wade, which, since 1973, has enabled women to plan their lives and families, control their own health, take part in the life of the nation and fulfill their individual dreams.

Romney backed a law that outlaws all abortion, even in cases of rape and incest and has said “Planned Parenthood, we’re gonna get rid of that,” even though Planned Parenthood provides life-saving cancer screening and family planning services to millions of women.

Ryan, Romney’s vice presidential pick, supported a bill that would permit a hospital to refuse an abortion even if the woman’s life is at stake.

Every year more than 200,000 women are raped, resulting in 32,000 pregnancies, but Republicans would deny women the right to determine their own future and right to life.

The Republican Party has endorsed a platform plank that would give a fertilized egg the same legal protections as that of the woman who carries the egg. That means that even if a woman was forced to terminate a pregnancy by herself (as was the case prior to Roe), she could be prosecuted for murder.

One out of every three women in this country has an abortion in her lifetime for a variety of reasons, best informed by her individual circumstances. Imagine if women asked men to relinquish their individual, personal liberty. Would war ensue?

The escalating assault on women’s reproductive rights and even basic birth control is a defining issue in this presidential election. Now is the time to vote for the pro-choice Democratic ticket.

Patricia Hendrickson