Letter: Women's rights are at risk

Published: 05-23-2024 11:23 AM

I support women’s reproductive rights, so I am alarmed by the reversal of Roe v. Wade, but I think that the topic of abortion is a distraction from the current risk to all women’s rights.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the Dobbs decision occurred at a time when women were graduating from law and medical schools at higher rates than men, when 10 cents was knocked off the deficit between what women are paid compared to men or when, as we recovered from the pandemic, it became clear that women in the workforce were essential to a robust economy.

This was recently brought home for me when, during a debate in the New Hampshire State House on a bill to lower the age of marriage from 18 to 16, a member argued that this should be allowed because 16-year-olds are “ripe” and “fertile.” Another member characterized it as a better alternative to teen pregnancy than abortion. Putting aside the disgusting idea of codifying marriage to a child, I believe that these are clear examples of our march backward regarding women’s rights.

Proponents of this law seem to believe that women (or girls) don’t have the same agency as men and are better off tied to them in some antiquated idea of marriage, especially when they are easily impregnated. We need to be more attentive to all women’s rights, and not just the right to an abortion.

Molly Howard

Hancock

Molly Howard of Hancock is the Democratic state representative for Hillsborough County District 31.

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