To The Daily Sun,
This letter is in response to Mr. Bob Meade's column of Feb. 6, 2014 entitled "Planned Parenthood: A Government Funded Oxymoron."
Mr. Meade opens his column by pointing out Margaret Sanger, whose work in women's reproductive services paved the way for Planned Parenthood, was a supporter of eugenics. This is true. He goes on to state that her opinions on eugenics were shared by Adolf Hitler. This is false. Ms. Sanger advocated for denying reproduction to the severely disabled ("negative eugenics"), but was outspoken in opposition to Nazi Germany's forced extermination of those Hitler deemed racially impure. While I join Mr. Meade in opposing eugenics, to lump Margaret Sanger and Adolf Hitler together is misleading to say the least.
Mr. Meade's central argument seems to be that Planned Parenthood's mission to provide family planning and health care services is mere pretext to providing abortion services to women who are confronted with an unplanned pregnancy. He assumes (inaccurately) that Planned Parenthood does not counsel patients on all their options concerning contraception, pregnancy, parenting, and adoption in addition to abortion, and argues that the approximately 350,000 abortions provided by Planned Parenthood annually is actually the central focus of the organization, and that the other 10 million services provided are administrative fluff (including staff answering questions over the telephone) not on par with an abortion, which Mr. Meade considers an "outrageous" deception.
Mr. Meade's column prompted me to review Planned Parenthood's 2012-2013 Annual Report (available online). Here is what I learned:
1. Planned Parenthood provided over 3.7 million STI/STD tests and almost 700,000 HIV tests (to both women and men).
2. Contraception services were provided to over 3.7 million people, including emergency contraception to over 1.5 million patients.
3. Planned Parenthood provided over 1.1 million pregnancy tests.
4. Over 1.1 million patients received cancer screening and prevention services, including almost 500,000 pap tests and over 500,000 breast exams. It is estimated that 85,000 women were able to detect their breast cancer early or have other abnormalities addressed because of the screening services Planned Parenthood provided them.
These are critical (and in some cases life-saving) services that are very difficult to perform over the phone. In my mind, Mr. Meade's argument that Planned Parenthood is a de facto government-subsidized abortionist providing other services as window dressing is completely invalid. For many women (and men), Planned Parenthood is a critical provider of information, support, and care, standing by to provide services to those who lack insurance or are afraid to seek support or treatment through their family doctor.
Additionally, Planned Parenthood and our elected officials who support its continued funding do not "literally, throw the unborn under the proverbial bus" as Mr. Meade claims. For one, I don't think it's possible to literally throw anyone (born or unborn) under a proverbial anything. For another, Planned Parenthood and their supporters in government understand there is far more to providing women health care services than abortion, as Planned Parenthood's annual report demonstrates. These are the services our tax dollars help pay for, and they are services that can save, prolong, or improve patients' lives.
Mr. Meade and I fundamentally disagree on the issue whether a woman has the right to make her own health care decisions free from government interference. In my opinion, if a woman makes a choice to terminate a pregnancy after careful consideration of all options available, it should be done safely under the care of competent doctors and nurses, with respect for her life and her constitutional right to privacy. This is the true legacy of Margaret Sanger and all those who have supported Planned Parenthood throughout its history, and I am proud to count myself among them.
Colorado Springs, Colo.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 February 2014 10:39
To The Daily Sun,
I have lived in the town of Gilmanton for 18 years. The town is currently better managed by the Board of Selectman than at any previous time in my years here. They are honest and upfront and have done a good job in holding down taxes.
I do not think that the current dispute over hours at the fire department is at all necessary. The selectmen are holding to the line agreed to at the time of hiring of the first working chief (2004). Since Gilmanton has experienced hiring full-time firefighters who receive training and benefits before leaving for greener pastures, it seems logical to provide staffing for that position by using two part-time firefighters. This would not only save the town money in training cost and benefits but could results in greater efficiency due to less turnover.
Gilmanton Iron Works
Last Updated on Monday, 10 February 2014 10:18
To The Daily Sun,
In reading E. Scott Cracraft's recent Laconia Daily Sun letter besmirching Joe Kenney's candidacy for Executive Council, three things came quickly to mind: first, Joe Kenney's opponent sure has a strong supporter in Cracraft; secondly, Cracraft's command of English is superb and he is certainly well educated; third, I found it surprising that a man of such intellectual capacity would be as demeaning as he was to a person whose politics he doesn't agree with.
To accuse Kenney of being anti-worker, anti-education and anti-women was unfair. As I see it, Democratic and Republican legislators alike wouldn't espouse to that kind of nonsense. Though their views may vary on how to serve the general public none are counteracting on such sensitive issues.
Labeling Kenney as an "extremist conservative" was also unfair as it would be for someone to portray Kenney's opponent as a "liberal extremist". Both men are bright and accomplished in the field of politics and both have gained the trust of too many N.H. folks to be viewed as extremists.
Cracraft's denouncement of Kenney's voting record was pretty much one sided, too, when listing a scroll of things that, in his view, Kenney hasn't done well. His negative onslaught on Kenney's voting record brought to mind the 2000 National Football League draft, when the New England Patriots were weighing options on various players before selecting Quarterback Tom Brady. At the "draft table", Coach Bill Belichick listened diligently to a myriad of opinions prior to making the 6th round pick then suddenly stopped all commentary and said: "Okay, stop telling me about all the things Brady can't do. Tell me about the things he can do." Now we all know how that worked out and in my opinion it'll work out in a similar way for New Hampshire if Joe Kenney is elected Tuesday, March 11.
Last Updated on Monday, 10 February 2014 10:13
To The Daily Sun,
It seems change is becoming more unpredictable in our society these days as witness the potential new ownership of some 240 Briarcrest Estates homes, which has left many residents here confused and wondering what the future holds for them.
Early polls showed that a large majority of the BC home owners favored the original $10 million purchase by Hometown America, Inc., a highly respected firm owning numerous class-home developments across the country. At the same time, a small group of BC home owners formed Lakemont Cooperative, Inc. and with the backing of ROC-NH made known their intention of purchasing the 247- acre development.
Some BC owners worried over what the future lies ahead for them, have even made plans to sell their homes if Lakemont is successful in buying the property. Perhaps, some of their fears and anguish can be abated if the following purchase concerns can be answered and documented:
1. What guarantee do we home owners have that our original leases will be honored to protect residents from paying inflated rental, taxes and property maintenance fees?
2. Is the Lakemont Coop qualified to represent the majority of Briarcrest residents and do they have the professional training and background to oversee and successfully manage what is really a $10 million business?
3. Can the morale, care, friendship and cooperation nourished by current park owners Ruth and Mark Mooney that has provided "a real home" for many Briarcrest seniors, ever be replaced in today's somewhat uncertain and political society?
Hopefully, some definitive communications here (like more Letters to the editor) among all parties including BC home owners, can help reduce the fear and immobility that now seems to exist in this beautiful Belknap Mountain community. We can only hope and see that this will happen.
Hugh & Patt Baird
Last Updated on Monday, 10 February 2014 10:10
To The Daily Sun,
Let's look at the states where President Obama has high approval ratings. The top six are Hawaii, Maryland, Rhode Island, New York, Vermont and Massachusetts. Now let's look at some of the worst states for taxes. They are New York, New Jersey, California, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Maryland. Do you notice a pattern: high taxes equal a strong Democrat (blue) state.
In New Hampshire, our three Democrat ladies are embracing President Obama's policies. Rep. Kuster even gave President Obama a kiss to solidify her approval. Of course, they are not subject to his policies, including Obamacare. In addition, our three ladies approved raising the minimum wage. However, Reps. Kuster and Shea-Porter have unpaid interns. Of course, 96 percent of the Democrats have unpaid interns. The Democrats practice "Do as I say, not as I do".
We need to vote out Rep.Kuster, period.
We need to vote out Rep. Shea-Porter, period.
We need to vote out Sen. Shaheen, period.
A leading Democrat in New Hampshire asks, "How do we get rid of the corruption in Washington? My answer is vote out the party responsible for the corruption: IRS scandal, Benghazi and Obamacare. What difference will it make, a lot.
Last Updated on Monday, 10 February 2014 10:04