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Letter to the Editor: Not if, but whose?


Editor:

In a recent political debate, the abortion question was raised to both candidates. One candidate nobly proclaimed that while he was personally opposed to abortion, he wouldn't impose those beliefs on others as if that would be unfair and unjust. I almost gagged because I knew that this individual and his party imposed their health care values and costs on me as well as the rest of the entire nation as the result of a late night ramrod Congressional session early last spring.

At the end of the day, every piece of legislation imposes someone's ideas, values, and beliefs on others. The question is not if someone's values will be imposed, the question is whose values will they be? This is what elections are all about.

We have a value and a belief in this country that murder is unacceptable and it is therefore illegal. Although not all agree, this value is thankfully imposed on others. If one chooses to violate this law, he or she can do so, but will face serious legal consequences if caught and convicted regardless of individual personal beliefs.

Likewise, most in our nation believe that theft is wrong, even though not all agree. And such is the case with many other issues. Some claim that morality can't be legislated. Ultimately, that's the only thing that is legislated. Every law is ultimately tested on whether it is right or wrong, be it a question of taxation, immigration, marriage, cloning, national defense, food stamps, or unborn human life.

I was happy to hear both candidates agree that faith is very important to them and that their faith ultimately dictates who they are and what decisions they make. This brings us back to the importance of choosing wisely in each and every election. The individuals we elect will make decisions on the local, state, and national levels based on their core beliefs. It's vitally important to know what those beliefs are before they are elected and how they compare with God's unchanging standards.

We all understand that the abortion debate is a complicated issue, but the fact that every abortion stops a beating heart is undeniable. Somehow the same government that will fine and imprison a man for damaging or even disturbing an unhatched egg of an endangered bird subsidizes an abortionist through Planned Parenthood funding. I pray for the day when the majority in this country who do believe abortion is wrong can impose that belief on the rest in order to spare millions of unborn human children and spare our nation from God's justice. Without the protection of the God-given Constitutional right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are moot points.

George Bowers, Woodstock


10 Comments



Well-reasoned piece, Mr. Bowers.

As to government funding of contraception and abortion, it is a political option confused by many as a right.

There's no legitimate public funding role: Contraception is to health care as Slim Fast is to sustanence.

As a political matter, government involvement can be legitimately reversed -- regardless the hysteria from the Left.

Ironic that you rail against how your tax dollars are being used in opposition to your beliefs, but then you close by hoping that those that agree with you can force your beliefs on everyone else!

Sorry, it doesn't work that way. This is a Country where people of all different sets of values are required to work together. Will all of our values always be honored? No. But, part of living in a "civilized society" is that at times you have to make concessions for the good of the whole. You don't get to chose where your tax dollars go, nor do you get to impose your morals on others.

Here's the thing that pro-life advocates continue to forget: there are very real, emotional and moral reasons for wanting an abortion at times. People will continue to seek out ways to resolve these situations, whether or not it's legal and safe. I'd rather not go back to living in a society where rape victims seek out back-alley doctors to exacerbate an already traumatic experience in their lives.

Strangely, as has been pointed out, those who oppose abortion also tend to be opponents of accessible contraception. Here's a tip...if contraception is available, abortions will not likely be as necessary. Talk about undermining your own agenda.

Interestingly enough since the introduction of affordable healthcare in Massachusetts, abortion rates have dropped among key groups such as teenagers.
"When women have more stable access to medical care, they're more likely to see doctors, they're more likely to have somebody inquiring about their sexual health," Whelan told me in a phone interview. "The fact that you have somebody who cares about you results in people being healthier, and that includes not getting pregnant if they don't want to be."

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/08/increased-access-to-health-care-may-decrease-abortions/261463/

http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2012/08/24/romneycare_likely_reduced_abortion_rate_obamacare_could_get_the_same_results_.html

One truly has to consider the messengers in these cases. First and foremost the fight against "murder" of barely formed fetuses, not the full term babies they like to show horror style images of while fighting to deny food, shelter, healthcare to living breathing human beings in need. What kind of sickness lies in the heart of one that can separate the two?

Better yet we are seeing on a consistent basis that old Republican men hold the belief that they know the healthcare needs of women, better than women themselves. We have old Republican men consistently laying claim that the forced sexual relation that they themselves would impose is only forced or legitimate if they, the men say it is.

No matter what your feelings on the pro-choice/pro-birth argument, one thing stands clear, this is a conversation the government has no business in, and more importantly a conversation a bunch of old Republican men have no business in. Once we as women hand over the bodily decisions we make for ourselves what is next? Where will it end? Our equality? Our right to work and be paid for the same labors? Our right to equal educational opportunities? Will they wrap us up so the sight of our bodies doesn't cause them to lose control? Will they push to reclaim our right to vote so that we are completely silenced in this war they have declared.

For women there has never been an election more important, you either stand up and say, "I" know whats best for myself, or you sit back and accept that the view that women need decisions handled for them by old Republican men enforcing their will by law.

"I pray for the day when the majority in this country who do believe abortion is wrong can impose that belief on the rest in order to spare millions of unborn human children and spare our nation from God's justice. Without the protection of the God-given Constitutional right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are moot points. "

So you quote your Constitutional rights when your statement clearly shows you believe in a dictatorship that forces everyone to follow your beliefs? Since when did only MEN have Constitutional rights?

I would like to know how many children you have adopted? How many funds have you donated to battered women's shelters? How many funds have you donated to help feed the hungry?

Have you every been married and how have you treated your spouse? How many children did you father and how were any of the girls treated? Did only your sons have rights and not your wife or daughters?

People like you scare me, I agree with Katy, what do you want next? Do you want women to be treated as they are in the Middle East? You claim to be a christian but spout off the Islamic religion for treatment of women.

And so the debate on the divisive issue of abortion rages on. On one side we have religious fundamentalist ideologues who would force their religious dogma on all Americans and on the other those progressive Americans who have this crazy notion that government derives its power to rule not from God but from the people, who have, in their quest for individual freedom, created what has evolved into the greatest document in the history of humankind, the United Sates Constitution which states unequivocally that the right to chose is a fundamental liberty.

The Bill of Rights guarantees individuals the right to personal autonomy, which means that a persons decisions regarding his or her personal life are none of the governments business. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled repeatedly on the right to those freedoms. In 1965 the court ruled that a state cannot prohibit a married couple from practicing contraception. In 1972 it extended the right to use birth control for all people, married or single. And in 1973 the court ruled that the Constitution’s protection of privacy included the right of a women to have an abortion under certain circumstances. This decision led to a dramatic improvement in the lives of women relieving them of facing the perils of an unwanted pregnancy, self induced abortion, back alley abortion, and forced child birth. And by relieving American women of unwanted pregnancies Roe has permitted them to pursue economic opportunities on a more equal basis with men. To restrict this choice is therefore an attack on the principal of equality of women and a grave threat to all Americans’ cherished right to privacy and liberty.

The crux of this debate revolves around a crucial question: When does life begin? Despite the absolutist claims of the fundamentalists no one knows with absolute certainty. The court in deciding Roe struggled with this controversial question. They heard from religious leaders, scientists and philosophers and opted for the following compromise. In the first trimester the decision to abort must be left to the judgement of the pregnant woman and the attending physician. After the first trimester the State may if it chooses regulate the abortion in ways that are reasonably related to the health of the pregnant women. After viability of the fetus the State may if it chooses regulate and even ban an abortion except when in the medical judgement of the physician the health or the life of the mother is in danger. Like it or nor, this is the law of the land.

Finally, and this not directed to the my way or the highway fundamentalists who are a lost cause when it comes to reason, objectivity or compromise, but to the moderate/liberal religious community. There is no reason that we, the religious and the secular community cannot come together to make abortion safe, legal and most importantly rare.

VP candidate Paul Ryan wrote and sponsored a bill to amend the US Constitution to say a human existed at the moment of conception and therefore had all the rights of a US citizen.

This measure would put an end to in vitro fertilization. Strange, why would old white guy Republicans tell a woman she CAN'T have a baby conceived by IVF, but she MUST have one if conceived by rape?

Strange indeed.

"Sometimes I believe the church would rather see mass starvation than the use of birth control." Extend that belief to their politicians as well; wouldn't you think that dying babies would take priority over birth control pills? Have you seen any "news worthy' rants by the devout re the living?

United States was doing better than countries such as Cuba, Poland and Estonia in keeping newborn babies alive. Not any more. As other nations improved this key indicator of women's and infants' health, the U.S. lagged, dropping to 41st worldwide in newborn death rates, behind these three countries and 37 more.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/story/2011-10-03/infant-mortality-ranking-US-41st/50647658/1

Isn't it amazing to see exactly what the priorities of 'the faithful' are focused, e.g.:

1. McDonnell (Roman Catholic) vetoed this newborn procedure due to lack of State funds; however, when he was told the money wouldn't come from State funds, good ole Bob signed an Executive Order with much fanfare and press play.

VA Governor Signs Executive Order to Implement Congenital Heart Disease Screening Legislation
The legislation was passed unanimously by the Virginia House and Senate and was supported throughout the state by health care providers and patient advocacy organizations, including the ACC's Virginia Chapter and the Virginia chapters of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Heart Association, before it was VETOED. According to the ACC's Virginia Chapter President Rober Shor, MD, FACC, Gov. McDonnell explained that he vetoed the bill in order to avoid increasing the size of government in perpetuity. Shor expressed disappointment with McDonnell's initial decision, saying it was a missed opportunity to help protect Virginia infants and had the potential to negatively impact Virginia receiving a federal grant of $1 million that would help address this issue.

After the veto announcement, Shor stressed that an Executive Order could fulfill the same objective as the bill by creating an optimal path toward universal screening of newborns for congenital heart disease. "An Executive Order would put the congenital heart disease screening policy in place without creating any new government bodies or increasing the size of government," he said. "Additionally, the bill does not have a fiscal impact on the state’s budget."

http://www.cardiosource.org/Advocacy/Issues/Prevention-And-Research/Legislative-Policy-Information/VALaw.aspx

2. Guess we have ample funds in the State budget now as he readily signed this bill: March 7, 2012, Republican Governor Bob McDonnell on Wednesday signed into law a controversial bill requiring Virginia women to undergo an ultrasound procedure prior to having an abortion.

The Collapse of Mormonism: Why Millions Are No Longer Mormons

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rn1iGvXU0dI

As we have so often mentioned here; the Republicans care more about an embryo than a full-term baby. I can't imagine anyone who takes these issues lightly but the "old, white men" need to stay out of a woman's business.

Maybe they should have funding for their Viagra reconsidered here. Now you'll get their attention!

Most of these positions are used to whip up the masses anyway and maintain POWER over women. It's all politics as usual.



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