I am surprised to discover how many people seem to confuse the constitutional amendment proposed by L.D. 780 — which would guarantee reproductive freedom and choice — with a mandate that every pregnant person must go forth and have an abortion immediately.

L.D. 780 proposes adding an amendment to the Maine constitution “to protect personal reproductive autonomy.” As many readers know, before this amendment can be added to the Maine constitution, it must overcome many hurdles, in the course of which those who support forced pregnancy and forced birth (both of which violate the U.S. Constitution’s preamble as well as the First, Fourth, Eighth, 13th, and 14th Amendments) will have numerous opportunities to express their views. Sadly, this often involves graphically, cruelly, and with narrowly defined religious zeal, shaming people who are struggling to make the most difficult choice imaginable for their own and their families’ futures.

Even if L.D. 780 becomes an amendment, please understand that it will not be a mandate compelling pregnant people to now have abortions. It will simply enshrine freedom of choice around the issues of bodily and reproductive autonomy, bedrocks of exactly the kind of democracy that individuals across the political spectrum claim to cherish.

Elizabeth Leonard

Waterville

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