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  • Alan Haffa

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Vigil in City of Monterey

It is a devastating loss; the country has lost a truly great souled woman when Supreme Court Justice, Ruther Bader Ginsburg, passed away. Beside losing a great mind on our highest court, there is now the real risk that President Trump could shift the ideological balance of the court and push forward a replacement who will overturn Roe v Wade.

A woman's right to choose is something I can not fully comprehend as a man, but a few years ago I was fortunate enough to lead an MPC Gentrain trip to the Ashland theatre festival and we saw a play called "Roe" that recreated the historical context of the groundbreaking court case. After the play I led a discussion with my students, most of whom were in their 70s or 80s, and so had lived prior to the Roe ruling. It was shocking to hear their personal stories. One woman shared how she had been raped and had to fly to another country to have an abortion. Another woman got pregnant at a time when she and her husband were young and unable to take care of a child; there was no safe abortion service and she ended up using a hanger to abort the foetus and almost died. It became clear that without legal abortion being available women, especially poor women, would be put into horrible situations. It is impossible to know what the right and wrong decision might be in all these circumstances and that is why a government, one size fits all rule, is unjust. We must trust women and their doctors to decide or we will force poor women to back alley butchers.

Today in Monterey there was a candle light vigil to remember the life and accomplishments of Justice Ginsburg. I felt compelled to go even though I have not been in a group of this size since Covid 19. But I needed to take time out to share my grief with others and to take a moment of silence to thank Justice Ginsburg for all that she has done. As a councilmember I have no control over the issue of Women's Choice, but let me be unambiguously clear: I support a woman's choice to control decisions that affect her body and I do not think government should control her liberty.

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