Religious ultra-conservatives of the United States are removing rights from half of the U.S. population yet remain untouched in this era of severe suppression and control of women. The Comstock Act of 1873, named for Anthony Comstock an influential politician and religious zealot, imprisoned nurses and doctors for helping women by educating them about their bodies and contraception. 150 years later, severe laws against women’s rights are ready for enactment across the country and in Montana.
We are returning to Motherhood in Bondage. The book, published in 1929, contains hundreds of letters from hopeless women across the United States crying for help to limit the number of children they bore. One 43-year-old woman with 19 children had begged her doctor for contraceptive information only to be told to be careful.
It’s happening again. Women are being stripped of their rights. Doctors and nurses are at risk for imprisonment for providing healthcare for women. Why are erectile dysfunction drugs and testosterone covered by insurances while large companies like Hobby Lobby are legally protected from providing contraceptive coverage for female employees. We must legalize over-the-counter contraceptives and morning-after pills in all states.
If Roe v. Wade is overturned, it will change the face of America. By removing female autonomy, we join countries around the world where women have no rights. A hundred years ago U.S. women won the right to vote. Now it’s time use that right. To make change and regain control, women and men who love them must come out in droves to vote for protection of women’s rights and defend our democracy by voting out the anti-choice patriarchs.
Betty Kuffel, MD FACP, Whitefish