Elections in the United States: abortion or vote with a lump in the throat in the so-called “Bible belt”

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If there’s a problem with next Tuesday’s midterm election in the United States, that’s it Americans will vote with a lump in their throats is abortionan issue that appears in the ballot in five states, with which the Democrats hope to mobilize their electorate.

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Next Tuesday we will not only be voting for the federal Congress, but for a multitude of state positions and a series of referendums on a variety of issues, including abortion. In this case, the states of California, Michigan and Vermont try to protect their access, while Kentucky and Montana want to restrict it further.

In Kentucky, where abortion is already virtually prohibited except in rare cases, such as when the mother is in danger, Republicans try to change the state constitution with the proposed amendment 2, which explicitly states that no right to abortion derives from the Magna Carta.

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The options

In essence, what voters are being asked to do is give up the right to close the door to any lawsuit on Kentucky law, which already effectively vetoes it.

However, “what I can tell you is that most people in Kentucky feel it there should be medical exceptionsmost believe in exceptions in cases of rape or incest, ”Kaitlyn Soligan, director of communications for Protect Kentucky Access, a non-partisan coalition that supports the rejection of Amendment 2, told EFE.

Soligan and his partner, Flavia Garcia, a Cuban living in Louisville, are immersed in the campaign to persuade voters to vote “no”. The task is not easy, this is the south of the United States, the so-called biblical belt, where the map dyed Republican red in the election, despite Louisville putting the Democratic blue dot on the map.

Its motivation goes beyond political slogans. Both had abortions, Soligan in 2021 and Garcia in 2019. “It’s an experience that criminalizes you, you feel like you’ve done something wrong, Kentucky always had it, they make you feel like you’ve done something wrong for choosing your body and your future “, laments the young Cuban.

Beside her, Soligan nods and points out that with the abortion ban for the first time, this issue is being talked about openly. She had to terminate her pregnancy a year ago on medical advice after discovering that her baby would not survive.

And that’s the one in the United States there is a taboo to call things by their name when it comes to abortion, as happened to President Joe Biden, who took months to use that word despite the imminent Supreme Court ruling in late July that eliminated federal protection of that right.

“Let’s stop making things up,” asks a weary resident of the 33rd District of Kentucky in an impromptu street conversation with volunteers from the Planned Parenthood organization, which has the largest network of reproductive services clinics in the United States and operates a door-to-door campaign to promote “no” within the Protect Kentucky Access coalition.

Of the same opinion is Tamarra Wieder, state director of Planned Parenthood in Kentucky, who reminds EFE that Democrats in the state have never mentioned the word “abortion” before but are now talking about it and without stigmatizing. because at the beginning the debate focused on the exceptions for incest and rapeand now they refer to it as “health care” in general.

The travels

The activist speaks from the clinic that Planned Parenthood has in Louisville, one of two in the state, which is still open to offer health services, although it hasn’t practiced abortions since August. Currently, women who wish to terminate their pregnancy they have to go to other states, like Illinois.

Electoral propaganda against the amendment can be seen outside the city’s polling stations. At the Kentucky Center for African American Legacy, all voters consulted by EFE on the first day of early voting, last Thursday, said they rejected the Republican initiative.

In the suburbs of Louisville, however, the answers change.

In the vicinity of the election center installed in the Paroquet Springs Conference Center, in Shepherdsville, about 30 kilometers away, there is not a single poster against Amendment 2. all claim “yes”.

Mary Bethan, 51, voted in favor, but has “mixed feelings,” she admits to EFE. She voted “yes” because she believes that abortion should not be financed with public money and there should be more restrictions.

Later, she dares to tell her own experience: she has a 13-year-old daughter with Down syndrome who got pregnant last year and who, despite the doctor’s recommendations to have her aborted, finally had the baby. “It’s something between her and God“, indicate.

Although religion is on the lips of most voters EFE talks to at that center, pro-abortion activists are confident that Kentucky will follow in the footsteps of Kansas last August, which in a similar referendum refused to impose more restrictions.

As Reverend Wayne Gnatuk, who is involved in the “no” campaign, points out, “gone too far”.

“One of the big misconceptions in this country is that all religious people are thought to be against abortion, and this is not true. Only a third are profoundly opposed, but they tend to be Roman Catholic or Evangelical Protestant. Many other people of faith in the United States thinks abortion is acceptable, at least in some situations, “says this Presbyterian cleric.

EFE agency


Source: Clarin

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