Letters for February 23, 2006

Right story, wrong writer

Re “Toy stories” by Sarah Sol and “Divine secrets of the Ben Wa sisterhood” by Jonathan Kiefer (SN&R Editor’s Note and Feature Story, February 9):

SN&R would’ve done better to have Sarah Sol write the main article for this issue. At the very least, Jonathan Kiefer should have requested that he use some of her stories.

Given the subject matter, Mr. Kiefer’s article was surprisingly soporific. While the history and overall business trajectory of Passion Parties are attention-grabbing footnotes, they don’t quite seem worthy of SN&R’s alternative-based (slightly eccentric) standards.

I’m sure Mr. Kiefer is a gifted writer; maybe this subject simply wasn’t a good match for him. To be fair, I was probably expecting something much different after reading the Editor’s Note. Ms. Sol’s short piece was vibrant and full of anecdotes that were both explicit and tasteful. I appreciate her contribution.

Kabir McKitrick
via e-mail

Pot, meet kettle … again

Re “Freedom Bites” (SN&R Bites, February 9):

Bites’ admission of SN&R’s receipt of letters demanding the publication of the incendiary Danish political cartoons struck me as darkly humorous. Even funnier was the indignant tone of said letters as they scolded SN&R for “refusing to uphold the values of free speech” and so on.

You may ask why this had me hooting derisive laughter. Last year at this time, many of these selfsame individuals who now so stalwartly wave the “free speech” banner were demanding the arrest and prosecution of a Land Park couple for making a similarly incendiary act of political commentary. (For those who don’t remember, these were the folks who made an effigy of an American soldier and hung it from a noose on their house in protest of the war in Iraq, an act very much protected by the First Amendment.)

This couple was subsequently subjected to lawsuits, acts of vandalism, assault and even death threats. They were demonized and humiliated on right-wing media nationwide. Right-wing political action committees and pundits protested that commentary of this nature “shouldn’t be covered by the First Amendment” and demanded their prosecution. Further, those who supported the Land Park couple’s right to free speech in this manner were decried as unpatriotic and “anti-American.”

Pot, meet Kettle. Kettle, meet Pot. Note the similarity of hue.

Let me state again, categorically, that supporting the right to freedom of expression means supporting the right of someone to express that which you hate, not just that with which you agree.

Ethan Ireland

Pro-life questions …

Re “The morning after” by Rachel Gregg (SN&R News, February 9):

After 33 years of unlimited access to abortion in this country, why is there still such opposition to the execution of unborn children?

After all, if it is legal, why are Christians still speaking out for the defenseless child in the womb and the mother who keeps walking through the revolving door of Planned Parenthood over and over again? I think we have had enough time to prove that abortion is not a solution to the crisis of an unwanted pregnancy. We have more child abuse, more illegitimate births and more unwanted pregnancies than ever!

Perhaps it is time to listen to the “unsolicited advice” of the humble Wynette Sills, who warns that abortion hurts a woman physically, emotionally and spiritually for a lifetime. I have never known a woman who was talked out of an abortion who told me she regretted not killing her child. I have known many women who have regretted their abortions, but there is nothing that can be done other than offer them post-abortion counseling.

Most women who come to abortion clinics are desperate. Let’s ask ourselves where are their families, their partners, their spouses and their friends? Are they simply chanting, “It’s your choice”? Or are they truly putting it on the line, like Wynette does every time she offers hope for a mother in a crisis pregnancy? I just don’t see women leaving Planned Parenthood with smiles on their faces, declaring that they have been offered a plan to keep their child. Why not?

Margie Vopacke Reilly
via e-mail

… and anti-choice answers

Re “The morning after” by Rachel Gregg (SN&R News, February 9):

Just a few thoughts about the language of anti-choice.

First, it’s not an abortion clinic; it’s a health clinic. Three percent of what Planned Parenthood does is abortion-related services. That means 97 percent of its services are not related to abortion. That 97 percent includes but is not limited to: information, condoms, checkups, prescriptions, cancer screenings, STD tests, pregnancy tests, pre-natal exams, well-baby checkups and children’s inoculations.

Second, it’s not an unborn child; it’s a fetus, an embryo or a blastocyst.

Third, everyone is pro-life. I am pro-life and pro-choice. I am pro-life for that living, breathing, viable person who does not want to be pregnant. And, speaking of life, let’s talk about death: the death of women due to pregnancy. A woman is 11 times more likely to die from pregnancy and childbirth than from an abortion.

Finally, pro-choice is just that: in favor of women choosing whether or not to have a child. Some pro-choice advocates say they could never have abortions themselves but feel that each woman has the right to choose what to do with her body and her life.

Anti-choice advocates demand that women be controlled by their beliefs, regardless of the beliefs of the woman. They are not pro-life; they are anti-choice.

Marie Bain
via e-mail


Re “Living in cars” (SN&R Feature Story, February 16):

The names of officers Mark Zoulas and Mike Cooper were switched in the photo caption on page 23 of last week’s issue. We regret the error. This has been corrected on the Web site.