To The Daily Sun,
On Friday, Sept. 2, The Daily Sun saw fit to publish a letter on abortion from one Alan Vervaeke of Gilford. The Vervaeke letter was intended as a response to earlier publication of one of Henry Mitchell's periodic pleas for pregnant women to choose giving birth over termination. According to Vervaeke, Mitchell's pro-life advocacy can only be based upon "some nonsense (Mitchell) heard." Or Mitchell is "simply spouting deliberate nonsense." Whichever the case, Mitchell is denounced as "either a fool or a liar."
To begin with the obvious, abortion is a complex, emotionally-fraught issue on which Americans are in sharp disagreement. Millions, both male and female, hold fervent pro-life views. Other millions are equally strong pro-choice proponents. Resolution of abortion-related questions is therefore challenging, requiring the reconciliation of the compelling, but often mutually-exclusive, arguments advanced on both sides.
The Vervaeke letter offers nothing constructive regarding this process. It is, rather, a graceless, ad hominem attack on someone who holds an opinion that differs from his, a characteristic sadly prevalent among far too many of The Daily Sun's chronic correspondents, whose ranks Vervaeke has recently joined. The letter is also weak on substance, with its fatuous premise neatly captured in the letter's title: "Until You Grow a Womb, Sir, Leave Women's Issues Where They Belong, with Women." In a democracy, important societal issues — like employment discrimination, immigration policy, human rights, and abortion — are not decided by gender. All Americans have a say in their outcome. Nor does Vervaeke seem aware of the irony of his letter; if only the voices of women are to be heard in the abortion debate, what is he doing shooting his mouth off?
Perhaps in future, Vervaeke, whose letters have almost invariably been shrill and demeaning of others, will find the ability to express his views in a more civilized, respectful manner. But if he cannot, perhaps he will do readers a favor the next time the urge to write comes over him.
- Category: Letters
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