360Women

Do We Have A Choice?

As I sit down to write this we are just 30 days away from choosing a new president.  Between now and then, every adult in America will be asked (several times by both leading candidates) to look deep into their hearts and search their souls before casting their vote for the next leader of the free world.

This is not just a party thing. That would be too easy.  Nor is it just a woman thing.  Choosing a candidate primarily because she’s a woman is as sexist as choosing another just because he’s a man.  This election and the choices we make will be far more difficult and deeply personal.  When you cast your vote you’ll need to know if the leader you choose will respect and support your personal beliefs.

Given that I’m the founder of an organization like 360Women, it may not surprise you to hear that I’m solidly pro-choice.  But what does surprise many is that I was raised as a Roman Catholic and educated in traditional Catholic schools by strict Catholic nuns who made it clear I will spend eternity in Hell for my stance on abortion and birth control.

And yet, I am still pro-choice. Not only because I believe in the principal that every woman has the right to control their own bodies, but because I believe in choice – period.  Personal liberty is what first separated the United States from the rest of the world and remains the primary reason we are still the measuring stick for other democracies.

Would I personally choose to have an abortion?  I don’t know.  What I do know is that I want the option to make that decision for myself.  A quick glance at the About 360Women page of our site should make it obvious that I also want the same thing for you.

I am blessed. I have always had healthcare services and birth control available to me; either through my insurance company or through my teenage visits to Planned Parenthood.

But that could all be taken away in the blink of an eye. The next President of the United States will likely have the opportunity to appoint at least two new justices to the U.S. Supreme Court – and these appointments could significantly influence the laws of our land.

Many younger women seem to believe their current right to choose is carved in stone. Neither they nor their friends have ever experienced or heard stories of back-alley abortions by individuals who promoted themselves as licensed physicians, only to discover these hacks provided little more than a dirty table with a filthy knife and no actual medical training. These are not old wives’ tales.  They are tragic historical truths.  And I, for one, would like to ensure they remain something of our past.

So, before you step into the voting booth, please ask yourself: Which candidate will appoint Supreme Court Justices who will continue to support women and their right to choose?

I have reviewed every single page of our presidential candidates’ websites and encourage you to do the same.

If you want to know what Hillary Clinton’s commitment to women’s rights, visit www.HillaryClinton.com/Issues

Do you know what Donald Trump believes about women and their right to control their own bodies, visit www.DonaldJTrump.com/Policies

Investigate their platforms.  Discover their beliefs.  Consider the consequences.  Then vote.

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Lee Ann Monfredini

Lee Ann Monfredini

Lee Ann Monfredini is the founder of 360Women and a life-long advocate of women’s issues, political activism, social volunteerism, organizational accountability and personal responsibility. A graduate of the University of San Francisco with a degree in Non-Profit Management, she’s not only served on the boards and executive teams of some of the most respected health organizations in the Bay Area, but built a successful second career as one of the most respected realtors in the market. She can be reached at leeann@360women.net.

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