Last February, House Republicans voted to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood. Last May, they unanimously passed the "no Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act" banning the District of Columbia from funding abortions for low-income women. (The original version removed all exceptions - rape, incest, and endangerment to a mother's life - except "forcible" rape.)
Earlier this year, Republican legislators in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Idaho, and Alabama pushed bills requiring women seeking abortions to undergo invasive vaginal ultrasound tests (Pennsylvania Republicans even wanted proof the woman had viewed the images).
Republicans legislators in Texas have voted to eliminate funding for any woman's healthcare clinic with an affiliation to an abortion provider - even if the affiliation is merely a shared name, employee, or board member.
All told, over four hundred Republican bills are pending in state legislatures, attacking a woman's reproductive rights.
But even this doesn't seem enough to the GOP. Republicans in Wisconsin just repealed a law designed to prevent employers from discriminating against women.
Politicians who attack Planned Parenthood are willing to sacrifice 100 percent of healthy mothers who benefit from the services provided because 3 percent of the activity is related to abortion services. This is literally throwing the baby out with the bath water. It also allows the 3 percent tail to wag the 97 percent dog.
The Republicans are determined to dismantle the safety net protecting the old, the disabled, the low income and the unemployed. All this works disproportionately in an adverse way against women who on the average earn less than men and increasingly are the sole bread winner in their household.
The Republican attacks on birth control and family planning are direct attacks against women. Statistics show that women who lose control of the number of children they bear are most likely to be low income and to be impoverished. Most often these markers create obstacles to vocational and professional careers and negatively impact opportunities for advancement.
The Republican record clearly demonstrates that any woman who votes Republican is voting against herself, her daughters, and her granddaughters.
Warren D. Golightly, Winchester
Who is responsible for publication?
I am the kind of person who feels that if he has a comment to make, he does it with the recipient having the full knowledge of who made the comment. Only once in my lifetime (79 years) have I sent an anonymous letter. The reason for that was that I feared retaliation which might have affected many other people and not just me.
I received the publication "Shenandoah County Times" in the mail today. I could not find any information in it as to who or what organization had it composed, printed and mailed. Of course, it presents opposition to the regional jail. There is plenty of information on how to contact the members of the Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors, but not whoever is responsible for the publication.
Whoever is responsible should stand and be counted, so that any of us who disagree with their position can let them know how we feel. It seems we are dealing with a "Mystery Man" or "Mystery Organization" which is a little lacking in backbone.
Do you realize that our form of government is not exactly a "democracy"? Ours is a "representative" form, where people are elected to represent us on governing bodies. Therefore, we do not vote on matters, but have a representative to do that.
I feel the Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors have diligently studied the jail situation. I respect their judgment that building a regional jail is the best course of action.
Lonnie D. Goad, Strasburg
Yes! Change is possible
Can homosexuals change? Yes! In the same passage were Paul declares, that "homosexuals shall not inherit the kingdom of heaven," he says, "and such were some of you...." They were homosexuals, and a number of other things (1 Corinthians 6:9-11), but were no longer! God does not declare that an activity is a sin if there is no possibility of repenting of it. The Lord is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9).
Those who claim that homosexuals are "born that way," and cannot change cite several studies that show there is a genetic, and other biological links, to homosexuality. But what is as important as what these studies show is what they don't show. They don't show that all people who have these predispositions are gay, all gay people have these predispositions, or that these are the only influences that contribute to homosexuality.
What the researchers have said is that homosexuality is linked to a number of factors, including genetic, biologic and environmental factors. Michael Cash (May 18) makes reference to homosexual tendencies in animals. Animals must not be compared with humans. Humans, unlike animals, were created "in the image of God" (Genesis 1:27, 9:6). Animals do many things that most would consider totally unacceptable in humans.
Homosexuality is not a chosen behavior, any more than compulsive gambling, alcoholism, excessive compulsive disorder, etc. are chosen behaviors. But, those with those behaviors can, and often do, change.
In a two year study by the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), 31 of the 84 studies showed a quantitative outcome of individuals able to change sexual orientation. These are not studies that merely speculate on the ability to change; they actually have the numbers to back it up!
No one should be "bullied" into changing, but if one chooses to try to change, he should not be told he cannot change, and should be given every opportunity and encouragement to do so. A number of websites and books provide assistance in this regard.
L. John Bost, Strasburg