When I was pregnant with my youngest son, Elias, I was told at 16 weeks that if I continued my pregnancy, I was risking my own death and leaving my sons and husband without me. “If it comes down to it,” my care team asked, “Do you want us to save you or your unborn child?”

My husband did not get to make that decision — only I could make that decision. Despite my infinite love for my children and family, I made the decision for doctors to save my baby — if they could not save us both. This experience has shaped my views and policy positions on abortion rights.

I reject the premise that one must be either pro-life or pro-choice. I am proudly both.

With the rise of back-door attempts at overturning Roe v. Wade across several states, I believe that it is imperative for Congress to enact federal protection of women’s rights to reproductive health care and access to abortion.

This federal law should prohibit states from enacting unnecessary authorizations for women to access treatment or defunding Planned Parenthood and Community Health Centers that provide access to care.

Erica Smith

Gaston

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