Letter to the Editor:
As a District 4 constituent, I have contacted Congressman Smith’s office on two issues that impact women in New Jersey. Statistics show that 52 women a month are killed due to domestic abuse in America (more than any other developed nation), but Smith, along with many other congressmen, has refused to support expanded national universal background checks that would help keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. He has also voted against the Violence Against Women Act.
Smith’s voting record on women’s healthcare has resulted in the shuttering of accessible neighborhood healthcare clinics necessitating expensive, long distance travel for women who care for sick children, elderly parents or themselves. Turning the clock back on reproductive rights increases the suffering of women when access to a safe abortion is removed, especially in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother. Smith’s bill to block private insurance and flexible spending money from paying for birth control also impacts a couple’s right to plan for their family’s future and again causes undue financial burden.
In this election season, we have an opportunity to choose a forward-thinking candidate who will stand firm to help women on these issues, as well as increase aid in areas such as education, income equality, child welfare and social justice. After 36 years, District #4 deserves a representative who is interested in tackling head-on all the issues that pose a threat to our health and well-being.
Submitted by Rosalind Ressner
May 17, 2016