Cheney explains her abortion on campaign trail
Roger Hannigan Gilson reports in the Times Union that Congressional candidate Jamie Cheney released a campaign video July 18 in which she discusses her reasons for previously having an abortion. Cheney has a specific antibody deficiency, a rare immune disease makes any infection potentially major, and she got a severe infection while pregnant. Cheney went through three or four different antibiotics to fight off the infection and eventually a doctor recommended a new medication, but one that would have "substantial health impacts on the fetus," Cheney said. So she decided to terminate the nine-week pregnancy before taking the medication. "The decision to have a termination is an incredibly hard choice that no woman takes lightly," Cheney said. "It's also a traumatic physical procedure, even in the first trimester, so when I hear language around the idea that women are making this decision casually, or treating this as a form of birth control — no woman who has actually been through this decision-making process or this physical procedure could ever validate that." Cheney is running in an Aug. 23 primary election against Josh Riley, with the winner taking on Republican Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro in November for the new 19th Congressional District. As someone who is married, financially stable, and had chosen to get pregnant, she tells an abortion story that's not easily conveyed in slogans. "Being able to speak to that personal story makes someone a much stronger advocate, and while I think many people ... can advocate for this from a policy perspective, being able to advocate for a policy with an intuitive understanding of the impact on the lives of women is a key piece ... in protecting this right going forward," Cheney said. Read more about this story in the Times Union.