rowcount: 0 Welcome to THE COMMONS -- News and Views for Windham County, Vermont
Not-for-Profit, Award-Winning Community News and Views for Windham County, Vermont • Since 2006
Voices / Letters from readers

Leave reproductive rights decision-making up to women

RE: “” [, Nov. 30]:

It is too bad that Kenneth V. Scipione thought he could mansplain Elayne Clift’s view of abortion. His letter contains some serious misunderstanding about women’s lives.

One sentence set me back particularly: “Victims of rape or incest have available to them the ability to prevent pregnancy.”

Please tell me, Mr. Scipione, what ability that is.

I am a survivor of incest that started when I was 3. Of course, my body prevented pregnancy then, but what about when I turned 13? Was I supposed to ask my abuser to take me to the doctor to get the pill so he wouldn’t get me pregnant?

What happens, Mr. Scipione, when a virgin’s date decides to overwhelm her and rape her? What ability does she have to prevent pregnancy other than the morning-after pill, which is not readily available?

Whether or not a fetus under 20 weeks is a person is a matter of belief. I will not argue your religion, and I hope you will not challenge mine, which says a fetus becomes a human being at birth.

I also recall that your religion, Mr. Scipione, condemns birth control (which makes your arguments about safe sex even more disingenuous). In fact, your church refused to offer its congregants the opportunity to become “Secret Santas” to kids impacted by HIV, because the Twin States Network, our organization that served the kids, also distributed condoms to adults.

Finally, how dare you accuse Elayne Clift of having problems with men because she’d rather women make decisions about something only women experience.

Leave reproductive rights decision-making up to women. Men, leave your mansplaining to yourselves.

Jo Schneiderman

Like what we do? Help us keep doing it!

We rely on the donations and financial support of our readers to help make The Commons available to all. Please join us today.

What do you think? Leave us a comment

Editor’s note: Our terms of service require you to use your real names. We will remove anonymous or pseudonymous comments that come to our attention. We rely on our readers’ personal integrity to stand behind what they say; please do not write anything to someone that you wouldn’t say to his or her face without your needing to wear a ski mask while saying it. Thanks for doing your part to make your responses forceful, thoughtful, provocative, and civil. We also consider your comments for the letters column in the print newspaper.


We are currently reconfiguring our comments software. Please check back if you’d like to read or leave comments on this story. —The editors

Originally published in The Commons issue #527 (Wednesday, September 11, 2019). This story appeared on page D3.

Share this story


Related stories

More by Jo Schneiderman