enero 27, 2021

Guest Columnist – We need turnout to vote, and vote no on 115

We need turnout to vote and vote no on 115 Presentémonos a votar y votemos “No” a la 115

The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by our guest columnists do not reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of this publication.

Elizabeth Burciaga

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A proud daughter of immigrants and a first generation Mexican-American student. Born and raised in Denver, Colorado, she is currently finishing her undergraduate degree at CU Boulder.

According to Equis Research, 71% of young Latinas in Colorado believe that women’s health care decisions, including abortion, should be made privately along with her doctors, family, and her own beliefs. That means 71% of my community members in the state of Colorado believe that Proposition 115 shouldn’t even be on the ballot. Proposition 115 is a ballot measure that would ban abortion later in pregnancy in Colorado, and we have the opportunity to show what the Latinx community believes in: leaving the decision of ending a pregnancy to individuals, not politicians  or anyone else.

We, as a community, know the barriers to healthcare and resources that have carried through generations. We are continually questioned if we are in ‘enough’ pain. We are dismissed by others for not knowing the language, for not knowing ‘enough’– but we as individuals know our bodies best. It is not our place to judge someone facing a difficult diagnosis or pregnancy complication and we certainly shouldn’t take away essential health care options.

I know what my circumstances are and I don’t always know what someone else’s situation is for them. So how can Colorado politicians know what is best for me? We know and we see it on a daily basis– our government, our policies, our politicians are not for the Latinx community. They have been serving those with privilege and power, so how can we trust that they will best serve those who might need immediate medical care or an abortion? This is what Proposition 115 would do. They would continue to dismiss our pain and needs, but now it would be written into law that they could. This is a step backwards for our community, but also for my generation.

There is nothing reasonable about Proposition 115. The measure has no exceptions for rape, incest, risks to the pregnant person’s health or if they receive a fetal diagnosis later in pregnancy. In every case, except if the pregnant person is in immediate danger of dying, they would be forced to continue a pregnancy without any consideration for their own unique circumstances. Imagine someone taking away your power to control your own health care decisions — your own future.

Not only is this ballot initiative another attempt to ban abortion, but this would hurt Latinx who are Black, Indigenous, Undocumented, Queer, etc. At the end of the day this ballot question is part of an organized attack on the right to abortion. As with other restrictions, it will fall hardest on people who are already struggling to make ends meet, care for themselves and their families and obtain the health services they need. Young people, especially in the Latinx community, are often not believed in the doctor’s office nor provided the support we need. Young Latinx people do not have the money to go to the doctor’s office, let alone pay for something not covered under most insurance plans, if they can even get insurance. As a young person of color, I urge my friends, family, and mi gente to vote no on Proposition 115.

Our elders have made strides that have bettered reproductive care for us, and now we need to finish what they started. I know that my peers stand with me, but now we just need to ensure that there is no chance for the government to continue to chip away at our rights and autonomy. We need turnout to vote, and vote no on 115.

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