Make your choice!

This year’s election has divided the country the likes of which has not been seen in a long time.

Some people are convinced that the current president, Barack Obama, needs to be replaced because of his record, and others are saying that he inherited much of what he’s dealing with and he needs four more years to prove himself.

Some people are saying that Gov. Mitt Romney is the answer to all our problems, what he has to say is what they want to hear; and others are saying that he can’t relate to the middle class.

If you go to factcheck.org and look at what is written there, it will give you a good idea of what is truth and what isn’t. Politicfact.com is another website that gives you answers to many of the questions that you might have about what is true in politics and what isn’t. When you read them, however, you need to read the whole thing — everything that is written about each Presidential candidate, each congressman and each fact — before you repeat these facts and/or believe them!

According to Politifact.org, Romney has said he would abolish the contraceptive coverage requirement and he has said repeatedly that he would eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

Personally, as a female resident of this country, I wouldn’t vote for someone who would eliminate federal funding for an organization that provides so many health care services for women.

Gov. Romney said “we should overturn Roe v. Wade and return these issues to the states. I would welcome a circumstance where there was such a consensus in this country that we said, we don’t want to have abortion in this country at all, period. That would be wonderful. I’d be delighted.”

Yes, it would be wonderful, wouldn’t it, Gov. Romney, if there were no abortions in this country? How about no murder, or rape, or burglary or domestic violence, either?

But there are going to be abortions and people are going to have sex. The best we can do is to prevent unwanted pregnancy, easily and affordably, and give women a choice.

According to factcheck.org, abortions represent 3 percent of the total services that are provided by Planned Parenthood. The group does receive federal funding, but that money cannot be used for abortions by law. Other services that Planned Parenthood provides are testing for sexually transmitted diseases and infection and their treatment, contraception, cancer screening and other women’s health services.

In 1920, on Election Day, millions of American women exercised their right to vote for the first time. It took activists and reformers nearly 100 years to win that right, and the campaign was not easy — disagreements over strategy threatened to cripple the movement more than once. But on Aug. 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was finally ratified, enfranchising all American women and declaring for the first time that they, like men, deserve all the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. It’s taken women too long, and we’ve come too far, for these choices to be taken away by anyone.

American attitudes have been trending in support of gay marriage for the past few years, according to FactCheck.org. Gov. Romney has spoken out against gay marriage, saying that he believes that marriage should be between a man and a woman. I believe that love is love, with no exceptions for sexual orientation, age, ethnicity, race, creed or color.

There are a lot of issues being bandied about this year. Pick one. Better yet, pick several. But make your choice according to your own beliefs, and not what your neighbor, husband, wife, friend or employer believes.

That’s what this country, and human rights, is all about.

Jeanne Archambeault

Mancos Times editor