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LETTER: Law should codify right to privacy

Posted 7/26/22

With the recent Dobbs ruling in mind, the House of Representatives has passed HR8404 (known as the Respect for Marriage Act). One hundred fifty-seven Republicans voted against this measure including …

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LETTER: Law should codify right to privacy

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With the recent Dobbs ruling in mind, the House of Representatives has passed HR8404 (known as the Respect for Marriage Act).

One hundred fifty-seven Republicans voted against this measure including Rep. Claudia Tenney. Firstly I would like to express my appreciation to Mrs. Tenney for providing her reasoning on the House website.

Her explanation as I understand it basically boils down to three points.

First, Procedural. She says in her statement the bill was pushed thru and “…they forego regular order and established rules.”

I can not form an informed opinion on that because I am not now, nor have I ever been a member of the House. I don’t know the rules that she speaks of nor do know of the regular order of things there.

Second, Unnecessary. She points to Justice Alito’s opinion and says “there is nothing to worry about. He even said “…nothing in this opinion should be understood to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion”.

We could take that at face value but that would ask us to ignore a couple of important things. Lets put aside for a moment the fact that three justices quite possibly committed perjury at their confirmation hearings. We can look thru transcripts and point to phrases like “established precedent” and “stare decisis.” Instead I would point to the concurring opinion of Justice Thomas.

In it, he specifically states that Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell should be revisited. Openly inviting a chance to overturn those precedents as well. Justice Thomas has given clear warning that the protections afforded by those rulings are in jeopardy.

How can you ask someone to take one Justice’s opinion and ignore the concurring opinion of another. Especially when the opinions are on the same rulings?

Thirdly, Distraction. Rep. Tenney points to Democrats and accuses them of trying to distract from real issues that should be addressed. In my humble opinion both sides of the isle are guilty of this.

The choice of whom to marry, whether to start a family (no matter the means ie. In-Vitro, adoption, giving birth) or not (abstinence, contreceptives, abortion), or what consenting adults decide to do in the privacy of their home are rights that shouldn’t have to be codified in the law but unfortunately the concepts of privacy and bodily autonomy is something the Supreme Court has made glaringly clear NEEDS to be done.

—David VanValkenburgh, Blossvale

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