I shouldn’t be forced to follow others’ religious views of abortion.

Vicki Schuster

Vicki Schuster

South Dakota used to be one of the 50 U.S. states that could boast of being in the land of the free.

That is until this March, when Governor Rounds signed HB1215.

The bottom line to this intrusive piece of legislation is not the right to say when life begins or ends, but is the first in what appears to be a long list of ways to take away South Dakota familes’ reproductive choices.

Going to a pharmacy to get oral contraceptives or the morning-after pill is a new challenge. Now, we run the risk of a pharmacist not wanting to fill a prescription because it may be against his or her religious beliefs (so much for the customer always being right). And let’s override a doctor’s order while we’re at it.

Radical groups talk of pushing even more laws to have the morning-after pill restricted to only those who have been raped. Do any of these people have friends who have been raped? I have. Sadly, despite efforts to encourage them to go to the authorities, they didn’t. They said they couldn’t deal with the pain of a trial or – heaven forbid – being called a slut. If rapes are underreported, statistics on the number of women who had abortions as the result of a sexual assault are probably inaccurate as well.

And, Ms. Gorder, you claim there are 40 million abortions that have taken place in the U.S. over the years, and there are millions of people wanting to adopt. Why then, are there currently 650,000 kids in foster care, and 126,000 waiting to be placed in good homes? We can’t take care of the kids we are having.

My sister is a nurse who recently treated a 26-year-old woman. This patient has five children, is pregnant again and is also a meth addict. What kind of future awaits that unborn child?

Let’s keep men, armed with an arsenal full of insurance-covered Viagra, out on the loose, and let’s make it harder for women to prevent unwanted children. It hardly seems like a fair playing field.

We don’t need to put guards at the borders to keep Mexicans out of this country. We need patrolmen at the state lines to stand watch, pregnancy tests in hand, to ensure expectant women don’t leave the state in search of alternate means to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.

We live in a country where our constitution gives us the right to free speech, but nowhere in the Bill of Rights does it say I have to follow the religious beliefs of my neighbor, a total stranger or a legislator.

Until parents start talking about values and responsible parenting, until our schools teach adequate sex education, until our insurance companies or the government can provide affordable healthcare to every man, woman and child, we should vote to repeal HB1215. Abortion isn’t the problem, it’s preventing unwanted pregnancy. There are certain places where lawmakers need not go.

My uterus is one of them.