Dear Mayor Dupree,
I am profoundly disturbed and deeply upset by your stance on Amendment 26. I am terribly concerned about the unintended consequences of this legislation for families with fertility problems, and who suffer from stillbirth, traumatic deliveries and miscarriages. Your casual dismissal of them in your statement on this Amendment is so callous I cannot remain silent.
Your stance that you have reservations about the amendment, but ultimately support it, is more offensive to me than wholehearted support would be, because such complete support might imply not being aware of the possible issues with it, or at least it implies an intellectual consistency. Your position dismisses entire segments of Mississippi’s population who have suffered, and will suffer more under this amendment. You say you realize there may be problems, but essentially dismiss them. My faith also privileges life above all else, and thus informs my belief that this amendment is irresponsible, dangerous, and immoral.
I am a woman of childbearing age, with one living son, and one deceased, who understands very personally the stakes of this debate. My oldest son died after a traumatic preterm delivery, a delivery I fought in the hospital for more than a week, and that I did nothing to cause. When I read doctor’s comments that they’re concerned that this will lead to investigation and prosecutions of women (like me!) for the loss of their pregnancies and wanted children, that it might prevent Mississippians with fertility problems from getting medical care accepted everywhere else in this country, and that it might make certain forms of birth control illegal, I am appalled. I am frightened for the effects such an investigation could have on a family, and by the effects such a law could have on the decisions doctors make to save women’s lives and reproductive organs. It is positively callous to support an amendment when you admit to being unsure of its possible legal effects.
I am a lifelong Democrat, but you have gone too far. I will not vote for you in the upcoming election despite my even greater dislike for Phil Bryant. I am done voting against my best interests because of my fear of a greater evil. I will write in the name of a person I can support. If I can crudely paraphrase Pastor Martin Niemöller, I now feel like you have joined the crowd of Personhood USA, who first came for women who wanted abortions, then for women who needed abortions, and are now coming for all women. But I am not really concerned for myself. I have health insurance, and the means to leave this state if necessary. This amendment will hurt women and families, and will not protect children. And the guilt will rest with all of Mississippi.
Yet it will rest even more so with our leaders, who take weak stances on moral issues and refuse to investigate and stand up for what’s right for all citizens.