LETTER: PRO Act protects reproductive rights

The following is a letter to the editor submitted to the Park Rapids Enterprise by a reader. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the Park Rapids Enterprise. To submit a letter, email or mail it to Park Rapids Enterprise, 1011 1st. ST. E., Suite 6, Park Rapids, MN 56470.

Park Rapids Enterprise

The Protect Reproductive Options (PRO) Act has been signed into law by Gov. Walz.

There has been a lot of misinformation about this act, and while some people may not agree with some parts of it, this law protects everyone’s reproductive health care.

The PRO Act protects your right to have a child. It gives you the right to use contraceptives, so you can decide if and when you become a parent. You have the right to have a vasectomy or have your tubes tied if you no longer want to have more children or do not want to become

a parent.

If a woman has an unwanted pregnancy or an unviable pregnancy, she has the right to terminate that pregnancy, without the risk to her life or her ability to have a successful pregnancy in the future.


It prevents interference by politicians who seek to enact or defend barriers to comprehensive reproductive health care.

It was not very long ago, certainly within the life of many readers, that the availability of contraceptives was limited. The Comstock Act was a federal law prohibiting mailing of "any article or thing designed or intended for the prevention of conception or procuring of abortion" as well as any form of contraceptive.

Many states, including Minnesota, passed state laws extending the federal law by additionally restricting contraceptives, including information about them and their distribution. These Comstock laws made selling, manufacturing or advertising contraceptives punishable by a fine, a year in jail, or both. The same penalties applied to anyone who provided information about “when, where, how, of whom . . . such articles or medicine can be purchased or obtained (Wikipedia).

Although restrictions in birth control regulations lessened after 1930, the Comstock Act remained in effect until 1965 when the U.S. Supreme Court protected the liberty of married couples to buy and use contraceptives without government restriction.

In 1972, the U.S. Supreme Court established the right of unmarried people to possess contraception on the same basis as married couples.

Apparently, depending on the political views of the Supreme Court justices, our established liberties and rights can be overturned or taken away.

I believe in your right to make your own health care decisions for your reproductive health. Thank you to those who have fought, and continue to fight, these battles so our rights to reproductive health care are protected.


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