May 10, 2013 at 8:31 PM
Rules for female and male prescriptions should be the same
Females as young as 16 can get the Plan B pill to terminate potential pregnancies without prescriptions. Depending on the outcome of another court case, they may be able to acquire it at an even younger age [“Judge in NYC rips opposition to Plan B order,” seattletimes.com, May 7].
However, a male, typically 50 or older, must get a prescription for Viagra and other pills to overcome being impotent.
So the government is saying that a male who is President Obama’s age is not capable of making a good decision and would need a prescription, but females the age of the Obama daughters are more capable of making a good decision and do not need a prescription. Where is the wisdom in that kind of thinking?
Larry Brickman, Bellevue
May 8, 2013 at 6:02 AM
Adoption should be considered as an alternative
My one issue in this whole debate is the “either/or” people when it comes to unplanned pregnancy — either you keep it or you kill it [“Debate over morning-after pill for 15-year-olds,” seattletimes.com, May 4].
As one of the many thousands of parents hoping to adopt in the United States, why is adoption never brought up in discussion as a good option for unplanned, unwanted American babies?
There are so many waiting couples and families to whom these unwanted babies could be the biggest blessing. I am not saying this is the option for everyone, but I wish it would at least be an option that is looked at seriously before ending babies’ lives.
Anna Hiatt, Brier
April 10, 2013 at 7:31 AM
Over-the-counter contraceptives are constitutional right
Federal District Court Judge Edward Korman is to be applauded for overruling politics and affirming science [“Morning-after-pill restriction for young teens is overruled,” front page, April 6]. There will be unintended consequences after making the morning-after-pill (Plan B) over-the-counter for all ages.
In 1977, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that minors have a constitutional right to purchase over-the-counter contraceptives. Any attempt, by states or local jurisdictions, to limit access to Plan B to persons 18 or older will be declared unconstitutional by the courts.
I’m unaware of any state that prohibits 11-year-olds from purchasing aspirin, Tylenol, Advil, etc. Furthermore, I believe contraceptive gels and foam should also be over-the-counter products.
Steven L. Kendall, Seattle
June 30, 2009 at 4:00 PM
A shortage of funds for abortion not a bad thing
Sarah Wilhelm’s commentary ["Northwest abortion access hampered by economic crisis," Opinion, guest columnist, June 27] bemoaning the lack of subsidized abortions for Northwest women was revolting. For me and for many other life-supporting people, this is akin to being outraged over a lack of government funding for death camps.
I understand abortion is legal in this country, but if a woman is morally corrupted enough to kill her own unborn child, the very least she can do is pay for it herself.
To call free abortions “comprehensive health care” is pure propaganda. True comprehensive health care would, quite simply, care for the mother and unborn child, not destroy one at the selfish request of the other.
I would unequivocally support real subsidized health care that would care for poor women during their pregnancies, as well as help them to either get a job or place their child up for adoption. The only thing women need to choose is to respect themselves and their bodies by either abstaining or using protection if they want to avoid pregnancy.
– Melissa Mooney, Bellevue
June 3, 2009 at 4:00 PM
Pursuing freedom carries great risks
Our country has experienced a loss in the shooting of Dr. George Tiller on Sunday morning. Whether supportive of his work or not, pro-choice and pro-life groups are criticizing the nature of his death ["Abortion foes decry killing," News, June 2].
Tiller was killed as he was serving as an usher at his local church in Wichita, Kan. While protests outside the church have been common since Tiller began attending, on Sunday one protester entered the church, threatened two parish members and shot Tiller.
Tiller’s death would be the first in 10 years that is related to his work as a doctor providing abortions. While his death is a tragedy for all involved, it also serves as a reminder of the state of abortion in our country. Many seem to have forgotten the fervor with which the issue is debated and acted upon even today.
Let us mourn the death of this man, and remember that in pursuing all freedoms, there are great risks.
– Anna Jensen, Kirkland
What about death of Arkansas soldier?
I can’t help noticing the silence on the part of the left after the attack on soldiers in Arkansas Monday ["Suspect pleads not guilty in soldier's death," seattletimes.com, Nation & World, June 2]. There has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth after a lone fanatic killed a late-term abortion specialist the day before. It has even been called “terrorism” — quite a reach, in my opinion.
If we are going to stretch the definition of terrorism to include lone dingbats targeting people because of ideology, then certainly the attack on uniformed soldiers qualifies at least as well. What hypocrisy!
– Larry Clemens, Poulsbo
June 1, 2009 at 4:30 PM
Kelly Glasscock / Getty Images
Fanatical right-to-lifers don’t act alone
Editor, The Times:
I am saddened and disgusted by the murder of George Tiller, a man whose defense of a woman’s right to abortion got him killed ["Abortion doctor slain inside church," page one, June 1]. He was a courageous man who withstood decades of terror to be there when we needed him.
Police are saying that Tiller’s assassin “acted alone.” I beg to differ. As someone who defended the Everett women’s health clinic when it was firebombed in the 80s by an anti-abortionist, I know these fanatical right-to-lifers are never alone. They are part of a movement that has adopted a two-pronged strategy: an aboveground wing of the movement denounces violence while advocating extremism; an underground wing takes matters into its own hands.
Curtis Beseda, who went to jail for bombing the Everett clinic, used to be out on the anti-abortion line every Saturday when I and other Seattle Radical Women were there defending the clinic.
– Guerry Hoddersen, Seattle
May 19, 2009 at 4:00 PM
Public and personal views can be different
In the recent Gallup Poll results, a majority of people say they are pro-life, yet 75 percent feel that abortion should be legal ["Poll finds majority call selves 'pro-life,' " News, May 16].
While this may be a surprise to some people, it fits with my observations during 18 years as an abortion provider. Regardless of one’s public political stance, when a woman wants an abortion, she comes and gets one.
– Deborah Oyer, MD, Seattle
Biased method could impact results
I was polled during the time frame that Gallup did its polling on the “pro-life” issue, although I do not know definitively if it was the Gallup poll who called me because the polling organization did not identify itself.
The poll was recorded. I was first asked if I was a registered voter. When I responded “yes,” I was asked if I was “pro-life” (not “pro-life” or “pro-choice,” which is the more appropriate question). I was a bit disconcerted at the question because it was not framed in terms of abortion — just “are you pro-life?” I gave my answer and the recording thanked me and hung up.
I hung up feeling angry because there was no nuance allowed in the answers and I was not given the option of declaring myself pro-choice. I had to answer no to being “pro-life” because I assumed, correctly, that the opposite answer would register me as being anti-abortion.
However, believing that abortion should be legal does not make someone “anti-life” or “pro-death.” I would like to know who polled me in this very biased manner. If this poll was not conducted by Pew or Gallup, it would be nice to know who is trying to confuse the issue.
I suggest the press delve a little more deeply into this issue.
– Deanna Nelson, Seattle
May 18, 2009 at 4:00 PM
Jeff Haynes / Getty Images
Applause from the Catholic Church
Editor, The Times:
I applaud Notre Dame University’s invitation of President Obama to be commencement speaker at its May 17 graduation ceremonies ["President addresses rancor on abortion," page one, May 18].
Both the brilliant introduction of the president by Fr. John Jenkins, Notre Dame’s president, and Obama’s carefully crafted address struck me as wise and balanced.
The roughly 35 percent of Catholic bishops and other right-wing warriors who protested the president’s presence at this event tend to equate abortion with the sum of all Catholic concern about public life or of all Catholic social teaching.
In doing so, they alienate the vast middle of the American public, deny a space in U.S. politics where pro-life and pro-choice citizens can work together and marginalize the Catholic Church’s impact on public policy.
In his initial months as president, Obama’s acts did not include the signing of FOCA (still not even introduced in Congress). They did include closing Guantánamo and the CIA’s system of secret prisons, the forbidding of waterboarding in interrogations, the ending of funds for nuclear-weapons development and the initiation of discussions to seek the reduction of nuclear arsenals, and the reduction of abortions by reducing unintended pregnancies, making adoption more available and providing care and support for women who carry their children to term.
Abortion is, without question, one of the most pressing fundamental moral challenges of our time. Single-issue proponents, however, ill serve our need to engage with other issues such as poverty, health care, torture or war as pro-life matters of concern to Catholics and indeed to other citizens of goodwill.
Nor does their systematic resistance to Obama and his administration, on the absolutist ground of opposition to his abortion policies, justify a comprehensive rejection of his programs, his policies and his approach of respectful listening and dialogue.
Ten thousand participants and 2,000 more graduates at Notre Dame last Sunday affirmed this.
We owe Notre Dame University, and President Obama, our thanks.
– Fr. Roger G. O’Brien, Archdiocese of Seattle
Only education and health care will reduce abortions
I can only shake my head in disbelief at the protesters of President Obama’s appearance at Notre Dame. Where were they when President Bush appeared? He started an immoral first-strike war and supports the death penalty.
Obama is intelligent enough to know we cannot have a law against a surgical procedure that may need to be done and the only way to cut down on abortions is by education, health care for all and help for the poor. That is also my belief as a pro-life Catholic who attends daily Mass.
– Pat Cervenka, Burien
April 16, 2009 at 4:00 PM
Value of human life at the core of Catholic faith
On the subject of Obama speaking at Notre Dame’s commencement, Laura Billington equates President Reagan’s being divorced with President Obama’s assault on the life of the unborn ["Obama and Notre Dame," Opinion, Northwest Voices, April 15].
That’s extreme liberal moral relativism for you. Mass murder of innocent life cannot be compared to the failure to keep a marriage promise.
The Catholic Church absolutely advocates marriage as a lifetime commitment for good reason, but the care for God’s most precious creation, human life, is of paramount importance, a universal truth at the core of the Catholic faith.
It is a fact — we’re at about 50 million innocent, aborted babies in the U.S. and counting. “Our Lady” is no doubt shedding tears for this country having allowed a man so pro-abortion to be the leader of the free world. A Catholic university has no business awarding an honorary degree while turning a blind eye to the war Obama has declared on innocent human life.
He has launched several attacks during his first weeks in office: He supports eliminating the conscience clause for medical professionals; he’s lifted restrictions on federal funding to international groups that promote abortion and human-embryo destruction, while he reduced funding for the only stem-cell research that has proved to be effective; he renewed funding for a U.N. group that helped support China’s forced sterilization and abortion policies; and he vowed to support the Freedom of Choice Act, undoing any pro-life work that has been done on behalf of the innocent unborn.
This is hope? Catholics must unite in dismay over these actions, not award an honorary degree.
– Andrea Arnone, Bellevue
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