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Barber: Personal freedoms include gay marriage, abortion rights

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Barber: Personal freedoms include gay marriage, abortion rights

In Southern Arizona, we place a high value on personal freedom. We believe that everyone in our community has the right to live the life they want without the government, politicians or their employer interfering in their personal decisions.

Three weeks ago, ballots were mailed to registered voters throughout our state and people are voting at this very moment. From the promise of Social Security and Medicare benefits, to the quality of our children's education, so much is at stake in this election. There are profound differences between my opponent and me on many important issues.

As a father and a grandfather, these issues are personal for me and I am ready to continue the fight to protect our rights.

My opponent doesn't share our values. When it comes to personal freedoms, I trust Southern Arizonans to make the decisions that are best for them and their families. My opponent does not.

I believe that every woman has the right to make her own personal health care decisions without the government or her employer interfering. Those decisions are between a woman and her doctor. I support a woman's right to choose. It's the law of the land, and we must uphold that right.

I have fought to ensure funding for health care centers, like Planned Parenthood, that provide essential medical services to women. And I disagree with the Hobby Lobby decision that says it's ok for an employer to impose their religious views on the women they employ.

My opponent stands with the extremists that are working to prevent a woman from being able to make health care choices for her and her family. She told the Center for Arizona Policy in a survey that she opposes a woman's right to choose, even in instances of rape, incest, or when the health of the mother is at serious risk. And she opposes federal funding for Planned Parenthood and other women's health organizations that so many Southern Arizona families count on.

On equality, again, my opponent and I stand on opposite sides of the issue. I support marriage equality. I believe that if two people love each other and want to commit to each other, the way my wife Nancy and I have for 47 years, that they should be able to do that. That's now the law in Arizona and we must keep it that way.

But my opponent says marriage should only be between a man and a woman, and she supports a constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriage.

In Southern Arizona, we stand by our values. That's why I am fighting to preserve a woman's right to make her most personal health care decisions and to ensure that all Southern Arizonans have the right to marry the one they love.

Ron Barber is the U.S. representative from Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District.

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