> SOUTHERN INDIANA —
Reader ponders the term ‘pro-life’
Once again, the subject of abortion has made the news, thanks to Republicans Todd Akin’s and Paul Ryan’s ongoing efforts to force rape victims to carry any resulting fetus to term.
Personally, I am opposed to abortion for convenience sake but I believe Akin, Ryan and their kind must stop referring to themselves as “pro-life.” They are anything but, and they should be considered “pro-birth” only. The current “pro-life” position is that a woman must carry the fetus through to delivery — even if conception was the result of rape or incest, if the fetus has severe birth defects or if the pregnancy could result in the death of the mother.
But once the child is born, everything then becomes the concern of the child and his/her family. This position is harsh, unfair and arrogant — at least as applied by the ideologues in the GOP. A child born of rape is not only cursed with having no father, but even a well-loved child serves as a living daily reminder of a horrific event in the mother’s life. A child with severe birth defects may not even be aware that they are “living,” if you can call it that. But you better believe that the parents are, as measured by the ruinous financial costs and the frequent heartbreak.
Not every parent sees such children as gifts from God. As for dangerous pregnancies, the ideological right obviously believes that the mother’s life is not worth that of a zygote.
I’d like to know how these men who consider themselves experts on women’s bodies define “life.” I believe it entails everything from conception to death — and that we must always strive to improve the quality of life, not just mandate its beginning.
But today’s GOP limits the term “life” strictly to the exact moment a baby exits the womb. They care nothing for the quality of that baby’s existence, before or after birth. If life begins at conception, then why is the GOP so opposed to helping expecting mothers who cannot afford prenatal care? Why are they against affordable health care once the child is born, not to mention the new mother’s needs?
Republicans have consistently blocked every effort in Congress to make health care affordable for the millions of Americans who currently do without through no fault of their own. Why do they always want to cut funding for this same child’s public education? We won’t even discuss the hypocrisy shown by pro-lifers who support the death penalty.
Face it, no one can call themselves “pro-life” if they seek to impose their will and their religious beliefs upon everybody else, only to then turn their backs upon these new families and force them to fend for themselves with insufficient means. They certainly cannot call themselves Christians.
Perhaps they could call themselves “pro-fetus” so they won’t be mistaken for someone who actually cares about the lives of people once they leave the delivery room.
— Joseph Moore, Georgetown
Healing continues after the tornadoes
Six months ago, grief struck me like none other. First, one of my patients told me a tornado had destroyed Henryville, then my oldest brother called me after he had called our parents’ home to hear my mom scream “get an ambulance,” and then the line went dead.
I was hysterical; I called another brother to find tornadoes had blown him and his son off the roads of Otisco then lost contact. I could not reach my parents or my other two brothers.
I called my daughter in Charlestown to make sure she and my grandkids were safe. I tried to call my 16-year-old son, home alone, but could not reach him. My heart was sick with terror and grief; minutes seemed like centuries.
The tornadoes had moved to Marysville and did not travel southeast to any part of northern Charlestown where my youngest son would be. My daughter was finally able to reach my family to tell me they were OK, but not everyone was OK in my hometown of Henryville.
Our beloved school was destroyed; Mt. Moriah Church built by my ancestors was destroyed; just down the road from my parents and brothers, a heroic mother lost her legs protecting her children; a father carried his children to safety with multiple broken bones; an old friend lost his life after telling his wife, “I love you;” a child was found in a field alive only to later die of her injuries; many cousins and old friends lost their homes.
But the angels of our lord spread their wings and saved their lives. For many weeks following this day, my heart ached and tears flowed, but my grief couldn’t compare to those who actually saw the monster speeding near their home and family, or hearing the terrorizing roar of a locomotive speeding out of control, or crawling out of their place of shelter to see the sky above their head and everything destroyed around them or of the volunteer firefighters and EMS searching for those in need of rescue as baseball-sized hail pounded them and broke the bones of their hands or lacerated them.
The wings of those angels continued to protect them from severe injuries so that they may do their jobs of conserving life. My heart aches now for the many loved ones who suffered this terror, a word my young nephew used to describe what he felt as the school bus raced him away from Henryville Elementary School to find safety in the arms of his father and stepmother.
Tears are now flowing and the grief is felt all over again. I am so thankful for those guardian angels and all those saints that protected, volunteered and continue to help recover our small town and the surrounding small towns. These towns have come a long way since that day, but recovery is slow and grief takes a long time to heal. Thank you.
— Paula Ricks, Charlestown
Reader responds to letter on streets, officials
Roger Baylor makes excellent points in his Sept. 6 letter to the editor titled, “One-way streets are a road to nowhere.”
Professionals agree that whether or not New Albany made a mistake in the past, the only rational solution is to revert our one-way streets to their original two-way designs.
But Roger is making a larger point. Walkability is the key, and though that’s a technical term of art, it’s intuitively easy to understand. As Roger requested, let me refer you again to http://www.completestreets.org. Another interesting site is http://www.walkscore.com, where you can plug in your own address to see just how walkable your town is.
So, I join with Roger in urging our city leaders to make traffic calming a major component of public policy. It’s not only a social improvement but it’s a major economic development boon.
I am curious, though. Why pick on Bob Caesar? I have no knowledge that Caesar is a “book reader,” but I do know that many, many of his 2nd District constituents are book readers and they seemed happy to return him to office. Does Roger think the “book readers” don’t know where Caesar stands on these issues?
What’s most mystifying to me about Roger’s letter is that it hardly lands a blow on Jeff Gahan, who had served on the council twice as long as Caesar. He’s now the mayor and so far he has broken up the Urban Enterprise Association (subjecting that organization to tremendous liabilities), blocked seed funding for a “Buy Local First” organization and done nothing to effect traffic-calming measures.
Why the kid gloves, Roger?
— Randy Smith, New Albany
> SOUTHERN INDIANA —
Reader ponders the term ‘pro-life’
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