This Veteran's Day, we continue the fight for our freedoms

by Michelle Racicot

This Veterans Day weekend, I ponder and feel saddened that the freedom to make decisions for your own family is being threatened in Albuquerque. I can’t help but be astounded that in the year 2013 women would have to fight for their right to make their own deeply personal medical decisions. I can’t help but think about my own mother, and sisters and future children.  Women deserve the freedom to make their own decisions.

When I was in Afghanistan I remember clearly working 48 hours straight saving the lives of young soldiers who were serving and protecting local Afghanistan people as they were allowed to vote, a freedom that we are suppose to have here in the United States. Extreme groups are now imposing that the government should take away the freedom of women and their families to make their own personal decisions about abortion – even in cases of severe fetal abnormalities in which the pregnancy will not make it to the full term, or cases of rape and incest. How maddening that 3 years after I fought to ensure the freedoms of others, I must now watch as my freedoms are paraded as part of a political ploy that violates the U.S. Constitution that myself and my follow Soldiers swore to uphold and protect.

Women and their families are the only ones who can decide to end a pregnancy. This decision is deeply personal and complex and often occurs under heartbreaking circumstances, the government should not be involved in these deeply personal decisions.  It is a decision that is never made lightly and always takes time and judgment.

I hope we all reflect on the sacrifices that our soldiers and fellow brothers and sisters at arms have made to give our country freedom. I experienced so much support from home during my deployments, I am now asking you to keep supporting our families and do not let the government tie the hands of doctors or interfere in the deeply personal decision that only a woman and her family can make. As a combat veteran of two tours, a Soldier, a medical professional, and a woman, I ask that you join me in voting against this deceptive and misleading ballot measure on November 19th.