I had multiple concerns with the May 17 letter, “Every life is a precious gift.”

I’ll begin with the statement that “the choice to have a baby should be made before pregnancy.” What about the women who had no choice in becoming pregnant? As a 17-year-old girl living in a society plagued with sexual harassment, assault, and extremely high rape numbers, I’m terrified of what stronger men can do with my body. If I became pregnant due to some type of traumatic event, I would likely consider the letter’s list of alternative options. But abortion should always be a choice for women because not every individual must abide by the beliefs of a religious system or another person.

As a Christian, I, too, believe life is precious, but I also know it’s not my job to force my beliefs on someone else who has a difficult decision to make. It’s just as important to recognize that this forceful limitation and shame surrounding abortions creates an opportunity for persistent sexism to exist and the inevitable control of women’s bodies.

I’m also concerned about the letter’s promotion of the movie “Unplanned,” which has been proven to be factually incorrect in many ways. For impressionable minds seeking information about abortions, this movie is not a credible source, and it should be cautiously shared, I believe.

I also disagreed with the letter’s statement that abortion is a “poor choice.” We will never know the best choice for someone else. However, we do know it’s wrong to shame individuals for their choices; it is only God’s duty to judge us. While on this earth it is our job to love and forgive, not hate or condemn.

Maddie Dostal

Cloquet