Dear Editor, 

In the race to be New Jersey’s next 11th Congressional district  representative, there is only one candidate who supports a woman’s right to choose. Her name is Mikie Sherrill, a former Navy helicopter pilot and federal prosecutor.

Her opponent, Republican Jay Webber, has aggressively fought for years to defund Planned Parenthood, a non profit that provides pregnancy-related healthcare and counseling as well as pelvic exams, STD testing and cancer screening. These essential services help reduce the rate of unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases in New Jersey and beyond. 

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It is a mistake to frame reproductive freedom as purely a “women’s issue.” Whether age 16 or 60, fathers must also make-life-altering sacrifices to provide child support that can stretch over decades. Perhaps this is another reason most New Jerseyans are not only pro-choice but also strongly support federal and state funding for Planned Parenthood. *

Assemblyman Webber is out of sync with many women in his own party. As lifelong Republican leaders Susan Bevan and Susan Cullman wrote in a June 24, 2018 New York Times op-ed : “We can no longer support a Republican Party that is shutting down low-cost health care clinics offering cancer screenings, basic health services and much-needed family planning services. It has become a party that wants to punish pregnant women by limiting their economic choices, that wants to reduce access to sex education programs that prevent unintended pregnancy and disease.”

Are you listening, Assemblyman Webber? Mikie Sherrill is.

Mary Shaughnessy

Bloomfield, NJ 07003