Letters for December 2, 2004

Women’s choice is non-negotiable
Re “The abortion debate,” (RN&R, Editor’s note, Nov. 18):

I, too, was raised a Catholic and educated in Catholic schools. I spent my young activist years protesting the horrific holocaust that I, and my “pro-life” compatriots, believed was being visited on the unborn.

When I was 30 years old, the Reagan/Bush years had taken their toll. Corporate interests ran the world even more than they had for the previous century, and young children were being heartlessly, thoughtlessly and mercilessly slaughtered by American bombs, America-sanctioned landmines and worldwide starvation and genocide.

As a mother of three children and finally something of an adult, I recognized the futility and arrogance of the anti-choice movement. I realized that the world, into which these caring advocates were so desperate to bring millions more children, was a disaster. I had come to a place where I considered those who claimed to care for the unborn, but ignored the suffering of the born, “pro-birth.”

Today, at 45, I believe that the fundamental privacy of women must be our most vital concern. The 14th Amendment guarantees us equal protection, and short of installing unconstitutional, monitored video cameras in every bathroom in the country, there is no way for the government to stop abortion. Women’s privacy is non-negotiable, not to be politicized and off limits to anybody.

Jeanmarie Simpson

You’re not alone
Re “Alien odyssey,” (RN&R, Cover story, Nov. 18):

I want to thank the RN&R and especially Brad Summerhill for the profound article “Alien Odyssey.” My daughter also has a birth defect. It was found during the second ultrasound, at about five months into pregnancy. There was something on her face. A preliminary diagnosis suggested cystic hygroma: pockets of lymph fluid trapped in her cheek.

Of all the emotions sweeping through me, I most recall a feeling of failure. I didn’t make the perfect baby. I felt like the worst, most deficient example of a woman.

But my daughter has turned out fine. Yes, she has a giant cheek and sometimes I hate going to the store with her. I sometimes experience my shame all over again by explaining to gawkers why she looks different. It also took months to bond with my daughter, but luckily she has the sweetest disposition. Who could resist her excited smile? She is the most beautiful girl; I don’t even see her big cheek anymore.

This article shared with me, for the first time, that I am not alone. Others have been through similar situations and felt the same things. Reliving the crisis reminds me how far I’ve come and how much I love my kids. Each of them is a miracle. I’m so thankful to you and to my daughter, who has taught me more than I could ever imagine.

Erin Keith
via e-mail

Needless loss
Re “A life cut short,” (RN&R, Cover story, Nov. 11):

I just wanted to say that “A life cut short” was very well written by Michael Sion. It listed all the events that had occurred that morning and the good things that Vanessa supported in life in general. I must say, it will ease the loss of Vanessa to her friends and family, as it has me. Keep in mind that Vanessa is looking down on all of us and smiling.

Rob Martin
via e-mail

Show some thought
Re “Boot illegals out,” (RN&R, Letters, Nov. 18):

Where did Leslie Williams get her facts stating more than 70 percent of Americans think illegal immigrants hurt our lives and take good middle class jobs? I sure don’t see fields of Caucasians picking produce, landscaping, picking up garbage, cleaning houses, and building new homes and commercial buildings. The fact is, illegal Mexicans take jobs most Americans don’t want to do—and I don’t blame them—but illegals are not taking a lot of middle class jobs.

My husband came to the United States with his parents as an illegal immigrant at the age of 2. He’s going to school to be a fireman, so he can help others that need him. He’s been a legal resident since he was about 8 years old, and he recently applied for citizenship. Me, I’m a U.S.-born Mexican-American. My husband and I can’t imagine receiving a letter stating he has to go back to Mexico within 60 days; it would devastate our lives and family.

I advise Williams to take a trip to a small town/ranch in Mexico. Most illegal immigrants aren’t here because they want to hurt our daily lives or to negatively impact our wages; they cross the border because they envy our lives and hope they can have just a little bit of it.

N. Jacinto

Re “Towering jazz,” (RN&R, Arts & Culture, Nov. 18):

In the story, "Towering jazz," it was stated that Roger Smith produced albums for Willy Nelson, Gladys Knight and the Pips and Jeff Beck. This was incorrect, while he played with these people, he didn’t produce albums for them.