Get our newsletters
Letters to the Herald

Franklin understood women’s rights way back then


The recent Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade reasons that the right to an abortion is “not rooted in the nation’s histories and traditions.”

In the 18th century, our Founding Father Benjamin Franklin had inserted a valuable chapter into a popular instruction manual that was published and adapted for everyday American readers.

The chapter included a helpful medical instruction guide for women wishing to terminate their pregnancies - listing safe herbal remedies (abortifacients). The guide also included remedies for contraception. There were no punishments rendered if a pregnant woman chose (yes, chose) to exercise her personal freedom. No vigilante neighbors waiting to turn a woman in and collect a bounty. No judge threatening severe punishment for her decision. No protests outside her home.

What is actually rooted in our nation’s history and tradition is a woman’s right to make responsible medical decisions. Benjamin Franklin understood that hundreds of years ago.

We must now vote this Nov. 8 for lawmakers who understand that today, and will promise to protect a woman’s privacy and her long-held reproductive rights – safely, responsibly, and legally.

Janine Witte, Doylestown