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January 23-30, 2008

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Letters to the Editor


'Roe' on The Ropes

THIS WEEK marks the 35th anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision affirming a woman's fundamental right to choose.  Unfortunately, the principles enunciated in that decision remain under political attack. Currently, anti-choice advocates are circulating a petition in a third attempt to limit teens who are pregnant from securing confidential health access and counseling services in California. The petition is couched in "parental notification" parlance, but is designed to erode the confidential relationship between a physician and patient. If passed, this legislation would require a pregnant teen to secure a judicial ruling to bypass the parental notification requirement. The proposed legislation would also subject parents to potential prosecution for parental neglect should a pregnant teen seek counseling or medical services for pregnancy without parental consent.  

The courts are not the place for families to sort out the very difficult issues of teen pregnancy. Education, family planning services including counseling, and respect for the delicate dynamics of teen pregnancy and family relationships are the ingredients necessary for a humane and supportive approach to teen pregnancy. Judicial hearings and prosecutions will further divide families at a time when care and healthy communication are essential.

Protect the fundamental right of a woman to choose and the confidential support systems that have been developed. On this 35th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, we must affirm our societal and legal commitment to the sacrosanct relationship between patient and doctor and never forget the horror that has beset women and families in societies and cultures where backroom abortion clinics operate when abortion is made a crime.

Bill Monning, Carmel
The writer is an announced candidate in the District 27 Assembly race,
depending on the outcome of Prop. 93. —Editor

Tough Slopbuckets

I'M SORRY, but I have a hard time shedding a tear for Williams Tree Service ("Forest Grumps," News & Views, Jan. 9). Slashed tires? Yeah, bad. But pepper spray in the face and bloodied limbs from having a cop slam you to the ground? Much, much worse. It says a lot about how backwards this country is when people trying to protect trees are "terrorists" and the people with money, machines and power portray themselves as the victims. It should be remembered that as part of their "clean up" effort, Williams Tree Service confiscated a large banner condemning UCSC's expansion, a banner which posed little threat to passersby other than sending a message that the administration doesn't want people to hear. As for the administrators, I'd like to see them scale an 80-foot tree or attempt to dispose of their own shit—they sure seem to have no problem dishing it out.

 David Silva-Espinoza, Santa Cruz

Foie Gras Faux Pas

REGARDING 'KILLER GIFTS' ("Gifts That Don't Kill," Cover story, Nov. 21), I can't tell you how profoundly hurt I am by this whole subject of one more thing for the gourmet culture to unfeelingly consume at the expense of the innocent. But to now call foie gras an artisan product is an art in itself. This issue of the newspaper presents the article of toxic toys, but in the meantime you promote eating toxic livers from distressed ducks! What's wrong with this picture? Maybe our children should give up the toxic toys, gourmets should give up the toxic liver, and let the children and ducks grow up together. What a concept. Thanks for listening.

Rebecca Frey, Santa Rosa

Corrections: Last week's News&Views ('Passing the Hat') contained a factual error. Nane Alejandrez, Frank Gallegos and Mark Weller are supporters of, but not donors to, Bill Monning's campaign for the 27th Assembly District seat.

Also, we want to clarify the nature of 'Publicizing Truths With Consequence' organizer David Kubiak's beliefs concerning the 9/11 attacks ('The Indy 200,' Nuz, Jan. 16). Kubiak believes that figures in the U.S. government were actively complicit in the 9/11 attacks. Finally, the Jan. 25-27 indy media conference is open to 'anyone with media experience and/or journalistic ambition who wants to help create new non-corporate news sources.'

We regret the errors.


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