Letters for November 9, 2006

Defend the law
Re “Defend children, defeat abortion” (Letters, Nov. 2)

Mary Santomauro would like to know what part of “Thou Shalt Not Kill” do we as a nation not understand. I would like to know what part of “separation of church and state” she does not understand.

The idea that person would dare to think that their religious beliefs are superior to the laws that we deem worth of governing our country is absurd. What’s wrong with this country is not birth control, abortions and Planned Parenthood; it is a complete lack of compassion and understanding.

Perhaps people are missing the concept of pro-choice. It is not pro-abortion or pro-killing little kids. It is, as the word implies, the right to have a choice.

It’s fine (and incredible) that some people choose to remain abstinent until marriage. It is also fine to have (and difficult to resist) sex before marriage. What is not fine is to push one’s personal beliefs into government by limiting choice. To the people out there who wish to limit my rights and replace it with their personal beliefs, I say shame on you; mind your own business.

Emily Whistler

Fence will disrupt wildlife
If you want evidence of human arrogance and stupidity, you need look no farther than the U.S.-Mexico Border Fence! Proposing to build a fence between the United States and Mexico indicates that, once again, we fail to recognize that wildlife are important and that they, like we, require the ability to travel. At the same time that we are causing global warming, forcing species to move north to find suitable habitat to which they are acclimated, we are blocking their path.

Building a fence to stop immigration is like tightening your belt to prevent weight gain. Let’s address the causes, not the symptoms: invest in improving the quality of life for our neighbors. That would also be a good policy for other regions, such as the Middle East. (Of course, that may require “regime change” at home.)

Michael J. Vandeman
San Ramon, Calif.

Women targeted
Re “Defend children, defeat abortion” (Letters, Nov. 2)

UNR’s feminist group, Women Without Borders, anxiously awaits Nov. 8, 2006, when the U.S. Supreme Court will hear challenges to the first-ever federal abortion ban.

Though proponents of the bill assert that it would only affect one method of abortion, its consequences are far more drastic. The ban would prohibit up to 95 percent of pre-viability abortion methods used as early as 12 to 15 weeks in pregnancy, which many doctors agree are safest for their patients’ health. Since the ban does not allow for any exceptions when women’s health is endangered, politicians are assuming the position of doctors in making medical decisions.

The courts have consistently ruled that in order to be constitutional, any law restricting abortion must allow for exceptions for women’s health. In 2000, Nebraska’s similar abortion ban was struck down because, like this ban, it did not adequately protect women’s health.

If upheld, the ban will severely limit doctors’ options when deciding what is best for their patients. Politicians should not be able to impede women’s health rights or reduce the quality of our nation’s health care by making decisions that should ultimately be left between a woman and her doctor.

Marisa Christensen

Hook makes me think
I just wanted to take a minute to thank Mike Lafferty for his continuing efforts to produce his column in the Reno News & Review. Although I rarely agree with him (I am pretty far to the left), I always find his work interesting and informative. I know that he receives a fair amount of correspondence that attacks him and his ideas in unkind ways.

I want you to know that I appreciate his commitment to participating in our democracy. Debate and the exchange of ideas are fundamental to our system of government (as you well know), but it is a precious minority who are willing to step up to the plate and stand up publicly for their beliefs.

When I read his column, I often find myself thinking more deeply about my beliefs and why they make sense to me. He helps me to think through my positions and to understand myself better.

Trey O’Brien

Prohibit prohibition
The prohibition of drugs is inherently unconstitutional and unjust. The United States Constitution invokes prohibition only on the powers of government. The government is authorized only to regulate (commerce, the militia and the value of money), not prohibit. Prohibition is not the same as regulation.

The American Declaration of Independence affirms that legitimate governments are instituted to secure the inalienable rights of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness for all. An inalienable right is a right that can’t be justly denied; not by law or even constitution. It is a right that is, by definition and natural law, retained by the people.

The right of well-regulated and peaceful pursuit of happiness is an inalienable and retained right and is therefore guaranteed by the Ninth Amendment. The abject failure of the war on drugs is self-evident proof that these rights are denied only at great expense and injustice.

Ron Wyett
Baltimore, Maryland