This is a letter I wrote to Governor Kay Ivey, the current governor of Alabama. Recently she voted into law some of the most restrictive anti abortion and anti women legislation this nation has ever seen. I am appalled that a woman saw fit to vote against other women. Here is my letter to her, as well as her address. I encourage you to do the same.

Governor Kay Ivey
600 Dexter Avenue
Montgomery, Alabama 36136

Dear Governor Ivey,

Your state has gotten quite a bit of attention lately, and not in a good way. As a resident of Rhode Island I have to tell you that your state already has a terrible reputation, and the attention its getting lately has only made it worse.

Your recent legislation on an abortion ban is controversial and I am writing to express that your logic behind your bill has failed you. You have taken a stand as “pro-life,” and I respect your opinion about the procedure that is abortion. However, do you understand that being pro-life means that you support life—and that supporting life means that you support those that live in the state of Alabama? Let’s take a look at some of the statistics about living and breathing Alabamans and your lack of support of their life.

Did you know that your youngest recorded mother in Alabama was 11 years old? What were you doing at age 11? I was in sixth grade then, I was playing sports, learning how to play the saxophone, and fighting with my siblings over the use of the phone. The last thing on my mind was incubating another human being with my body, and I am sure it was the same for you at age 11. Yet somehow Alabama boasts an 11-year-old mother. Let’s be clear, this is not something to be proud of Governor Ivey. If you are pro-life, then what about this 11-year-old girl’s life? Where is she now? How did birthing a baby when she was still a child work out for her and her life? Where is your support of this girl and her life?

Did you know that on an average day in your state there are 11 babies born to teen mothers? (And it is appalling that the statistics are reporting age 10-19 as teen. Don’t the teen years start at thirteen? Is it because you don’t want to report age 10-12 separately for fear of making your state look even worse?) Where is your support of these lives? Why are there so many teenagers having babies in your state? If you’re pro-life, then why aren’t you supporting these teens having lives and doing the normal teen things that they do? Why aren’t you supporting sex education if you’re so opposed to abortion?

Did you know that your infant mortality rate is higher than the national average? Is it because everyone that would have become a doctor in your state had a baby when they were 11 and couldn’t fit medical school in to their lives?

And now let’s get to the more interesting statistics about your state. Did you know that the state of Alabama ranks second highest on the list of states with gun violence? If you were truly in support of life, then why is this statistic so high in your state? Where is your outrage over the gun violence and the ending of life—the very thing you claim to support?

Did you also know that Alabama is the fifth highest on the list of states with accidental child shootings? So, let’s get this straight—you are outraged over terminating a pregnancy but you’re not outraged over actual living and breathing children being murdered or injured by guns in your state? Again I ask, where is your support of life?

And this is why your definition of “pro-life” is flawed, Governor Ivey. After reading all of these statistics I am starting to think that you aren’t actually pro-life at all. It would seem that you actually do not give a damn about life and the people living in your state at all. It’s time for you to start calling yourself what you are.

You are not pro-life. You are pro-control. You want to control what other women are allowed to do with their own bodies. And honestly I am not sure what you stand to gain by denying other women the right to make their own decisions about their body. How do their decisions impact you? Guess what! A woman’s decision to have an abortion has absolutely nothing to do with you. So, I ask, why are you sticking your nose into another woman’s vagina?

This has nothing to do with the sanctity of life. If it did, then you would be writing legislation about the things that are actually removing life from your state—like gun violence. If you were concerned about the quality of life in your state, then you’d want teen girls to live up to their potential and go to college instead of figuring out how to change a diaper at age 11.

I hope that you will understand that being “pro-life” means that you support life. And supporting life means that you support the Alabamans who are actually alive at this moment and voted you in. Supporting life means supporting other women in their decisions—even if you do not agree with them.

I hope that someday you will understand all of this, because your legacy as a powerful woman governor is at stake. What is it you’d like to be remembered for?

Wishing you wisdom,

BJ Knapp

BJ Knapp is the author of Beside the Music, available for purchase here. Please sign up for the Backstage with BJ Knapp mailing list to get updates on events, signings, dog pictures and so much more.

BJ Knapp is the author of Beside the Music, available for purchase here. Please sign up for the Backstage with BJ Knapp mailing list to get updates on events, signings, dog pictures and so much more.