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Time To Define Our Most Precious Rights

RECEIVED Fri., June 28, 2013

Dear Editor,
    Like many of you, I have been keeping close watch on recent events in the Texas Legislature, including the filibuster led by Wendy Davis [“A Victory by the People,” News, June 28].
    There are a great many Austinites (including myself) who were relieved to see SB 5 get blocked Wednesday morning. We owe our thanks to the valiant work of various state senators, as well as to members of the public who voiced their opinion in the gallery, and to others around the nation who shared the story across social media to draw attention to the events of the night, even as major news outlets tried to ignore them.
    I was angered, but not surprised, when Gov. Perry almost immediately called another special session, in order to ignore our voices and attempt once again to pass legislation that would violate our rights as women to have sovereignty over our bodies, and that would endanger the health of the many who would no longer have access to the care they need. If passed, this legislation will likely close all but five abortion clinics in the entire state of Texas.
    Moreover, we must reject the implicit assumption made by Gov. Perry that a group should be allowed to create laws based on their personal religious beliefs. Masquerading under the veiled excuses of women's health and safety is not only a devious tactic for the governor to take, but also an offensively inaccurate misconstruction of general scientific opinion on the effects of abortion.
    I urge you to act now. Call upon your state senators to come to the defense of the many Texas women who are against this proposed legislation. It is an affront to our most inalienable liberties to control our own bodies and make safe decisions about our own health.
    This is an important moment in Texas history, and one in which the nation's eyes are finally following as we make monumental decisions about our rights as citizens.
    You can ask your senators to join together and break quorum by leaving the state for the July special session, so that this new restrictive legislation cannot pass. The moment has arrived to defend some of our most precious rights: our rights as citizens to accessible health care; our rights over our own bodies; our rights as women; and our right to choose.
Brynne Ovalle
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