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Lillian Jones, Fargo, Published March 26 2013

Letter: Deplorable abortion bills further victimize women of North Dakota

We’ve witnessed a revolution in North Dakota’s Legislature. What Gov. Jack Dalrymple had before him has the potential to turn us back to colonial mentality. Wars have been waged against women from the time our nation was founded, and what is happening now is more deplorable than anything that has come before.

I am a North Dakota native. I’ve felt the stings of abuse, racism, discrimination, physical and sexual assault and injustice. Through it all, I’ve held hope and pride in my state. I chose to raise my children here in North Dakota where I believed they would be safe. Where they would know their family, come to know who they are and have a strong, independent foundation to live happy, successful lives as competent, independent and masterful women.

But the very state that I call home is under attack. The foundation I thought held promise now has the eyes of the nation upon it, and the assaults that have been waged against women here are astounding.

Dalrymple was in a position to stand up for women in our state. To remind us that government doesn’t belong in our doctors’ offices, that no lawmaker has the right to intrude on personal medical decisions made between a woman and her physician.

The “right to life” and anti-abortion legislation tramples on the rights of the living. As a victim of incest, rape and a survivor of domestic violence, I am all too familiar with the loss of choice. I’ve had a D&C, a decision I made with my skillful and competent physician. I know what it’s like to be overpowered and victimized, and the loneliness and alienation that come with it all. I know the sting of injustice and the ache that exists in the soul of a victim. I also know what it takes to be a survivor.

I believe that my experiences have given me a voice to use on behalf of those who have been in similar situations. I could never pass judgment on a victim or her right to take control of herself and regain a measure of dignity and power. The bills that have sailed through the Legislature and been signed by the governor achieve the height of victimization from a position of abusive religiosity.