I wrote this article over 3 years ago in support of women’s fundamental right to make their own health care choices. Since then, the GOP has waged an increasingly intensive assault on choice – determined to overturn Roe v. Wade with the help of Trump’s extremely conservative Supreme Court picks.

What’s currently happening in Texas, Mississippi, and other states threatens to further spread this dangerous, anti-choice agenda and send this country back decades – UNACCEPTABLE.

Of course, the attack on women’s rights in nothing new – but the milestone Supreme Court decision of 1973 protecting the constitutional right to choose has never been in greater jeopardy.

As outlined in the 2018 article below, I proudly support a woman’s personal choice. Always have and always will.

Unfortunately, the fight for reproductive justice is clearly far from over – we must continue to battle back against the latest backwards bans and sinister efforts to erode the right to choice.

Pro Choice’ Needs to Remain a Woman’s Right

By Louis G Lyras

February  2,  2018

I’ve always believed in a woman’s “right to choose.” I also strongly believe in a secular government as opposed to a religious state that translates religious-based beliefs into law.

I believe that if you live in the U.S., governed by our laws, then you need to work without bias and you cannot insert your religious beliefs into your work, political or otherwise. One certainly cannot prevent other people from going about their rightful business because of one’s own (religious) belief systems.

For instance, the Kentucky clerk who refused to grant marriage licenses to gay couples in 2016 https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/kentucky-clerk-kim-davis-who-refused-issue-marriage-licenses-gays-n596476  had every right to oppose gay marriage – if that’s her opinion – but it was her duty to issue marriage licenses without bias – Period. The U.S. Declaration of Independence grants us, “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” thereby outlining the means for a woman to control the path of her own life. “The right to privacy,” suggested in the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution (and expanded upon by the future Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, http://www.brandeis.edu/now/2013/july/privacy.html  further cements this path to personal liberty. http://www.brandeis.edu/now/2013/july/privacy.html

Reproduction is within a woman’s dominion, and individuals and laws cannot interfere with a woman’s private decision concerning her pregnancy, her body and her life. Indeed, the landmark case Roe v. Wade, according to Planned Parenthood, “recognized that the constitutional right to privacy extends to a woman’s right to make her own personal medical decisions – including the decision to have an abortion without interference from politicians. https://www.plannedparenthoodaction.org/issues/abortion/roe-v-wade  Over 40 years later, Americans are still standing by this decision: 7 in 10 Americans believe Roe v. Wade should remain the law of the land.”

Yet, all too often a woman’s right to choose is hampered, even prevented, by laws that have their basis in religion. The Constitution guarantees the right for all people to celebrate the religion of their choice without interference from the government, for our nation is a secular nation. There is no state religion. The laws of the land must be morally wise and for the benefit of the people – but be devoid of religious doctrine. Also, conversely, no religion or religious group shall interfere in our government and those laws. This stands for a woman’s right to choose.

Government edicts, laws, regulations, rules, programs and licenses, require us to perform our duties under these guidelines, without discrimination, in spite of our personal religious beliefs. No one shall have the right or power to force their religious beliefs, or discriminate against any person, while under the protection of our laws. The health care system and the health care providers who work under these laws must provide women with good medical services, including counseling, family planning, obtaining contraceptives, adoptions, and, if decided, abortions.

Whatever the choice or path we must provide good medical services at no cost, if needed, to women and advise them of all the options without discrimination or imposing personal religious beliefs upon them and their lives. What good is a woman’s right to choose if she has nowhere to choose from?

Reproductive decisions must remain a decision for women to make without interference. I must and will support a woman’s personal choice today, tomorrow and forever. We all must.