In our country, freedom of religion is an individual right; it requires freedom from others’ religions. Your religious beliefs may differ from mine, so we must apply our religions only to ourselves and not force ours upon other people, as that would violate their religion.

Please refrain from saying I can’t do something because it’s against your religion. Your religion doesn’t apply to me; it applies only to you. I have my own religion, and you probably wouldn’t like it, especially if I forced it upon you. Thus, if you think abortion is against your religion, that means it’s wrong for you. If a woman thinks abortion is best for her and her family, and it’s not against her religion, that means it’s right for her. You can have your religion, provided others can have theirs.

Also, if states force women to bear children they can’t afford, the states should pay the costs of medical care, food and clothing, time off from work and ongoing child care. Instead, “pro-lifers” have expressly exempted the states from the costs of sustaining the new human they required, which is the definition of irresponsibility. If we really wanted to end abortions, we’d make them unnecessary by ensuring universal access to birth control.

Mike Richards
Peaks Island

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