To the Editor:

Jay Webber, a far-Right ideological candidate running for Congress in NJ11, does not think that women deserve to make their own reproductive choices. He not only objects to the right to choose, but has repeatedly sought to reduce access to birth control (something which would actually lower the number of termination procedures).

Assemblyman Webber outlined his reasoning in a 2010 budget debate, saying he wants to “protect” women by impeding our access to birth control and abortion. Worse, he argued that taking away access to birth control from low-income women and forcing them to carry unwanted pregnancies to term would be a good thing because “the children in our state are our future. We don’t need fewer of them; we need more of them.” 

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He argued that our current family planning services are tantamount to eugenics. The Assemblyman has also fought against basic sexual health education, including promoting the effectiveness of condoms and other prophylactics. 

It appalls me that someone seeking to represent me in Congress has so little respect for women that he would treat us as baby-makers for the state, undeserving of control over our bodies and the timing of our families.

This issue is personal for me and many other families. If I had gotten pregnant early in my marriage, I would have had to drop out of graduate school to take care of the baby. I have multiple sclerosis and it would have been unrealistic to care for children and study or work at the same time. This isn’t just an issue for women: my husband would have had to drop out of graduate school, too, in order to earn enough to take care of us. 

Instead, we were able to have out two children when I was ready and when my husband and I were prepared to give them the best start possible. 

I worry this will be lost on Webber, who is a longtime, ardent anti-abortion activist who reportedly believesthat abortion should be illegal without exception, and has made no effort to reassure us to the contrary. His intention is not just to impede women’s access to effective birth control, but to force women to carry to term every single pregnancy, wanted or unwanted, healthy or dangerous. 

Last night, while I was at my computer putting these thoughts into words, my son asked me what I was doing. I explained it to him. 

“But you’re not worried about having a baby anymore, right, mom?” he asked. 
“No, not really,” I answered. He thought for a minute.
“So this is for me, and for my wife, when I get old enough to get married?”

Yes, my sweet son. I am speaking out for you, and your future spouse, and all the women and men and families who should be afforded the freedom and dignity to decide for themselves when they will have their children, and how many they will have.

I hope voters check Webber’s record for themselves before casting a ballot. I will be supporting his opponent, Mikie Sherrill, a woman who knows that most Americans want a representative who will focus on getting results for the district, rather than fighting their own personal ideological battles.

Sincerely,

Lara Freidenfelds