What have anti-choice activists done to protect the living?
May 17 — To the Editor:
Questions for anti-choice activists, politicians and preachers:
What have you done to end capital punishment? To stop war? To eliminate childhood poverty? To protest the tens of thousands of gun deaths in the United States?
Until you express the same passion for those lost lives that you do for fetuses, you will continue to be hypocrites, manipulated by an un-Christian political long-game strategy of hate, division, fear and ignorance.
Columnist's arguments about NH abortion law are blatantly false
May 17 — To the Editor:
In her Sunday, May 15 opinion piece, “Stop fear mongering about abortion,” columnist Alicia Preston claims that the New Hampshire law is “...nearly identical to that in 43 of the 50 states in America. “ That is blatantly false. She has previously made similar remarks, the last time specifically contending that our law was similar to the law in our neighboring state of Massachusetts. Her point then was — if we are doing virtually the same thing as liberal Massachusetts, what’s the complaint? What she said was wrong then and it is wrong now.
To set the record straight, let’s compare the provisions of New Hampshire’s law and that of Massachusetts. The law the governor and New Hampshire Republicans passed when he signed the budget last year went into effect Jan. 1, 2022. New Hampshire prohibited abortions after 24 weeks, required a mandatory and invasive ultrasound before any abortions are performed, criminalized doctors who perform abortions, and had no provisions for rape, incest, or fetal anomalies.
Massachusetts has no provision for criminal prosecution of physicians who perform abortions after 24 weeks, does not require ultrasounds, and makes an exception for fetal anomalies. Nearly identical? Not even close.
Ms. Preston goes on to state that “I do not see a scenario where New Hampshire outlaws abortion.” Ms. Preston has blinders on and misleads here as she tries to pretend that leaving abortion laws to the states puts the decision in the hands of the voters. Here’s where New Hampshire law stands in the current legislature: Legislation that would prevent the state from restricting access to abortion has been tabled, making New Hampshire the only New England state where this right is not protected. As for our “pro-choice” governor? He was recently outed for claiming credit for being the first NH governor to pass an abortion ban in New Hampshire. It is not “fear-mongering” to suggest the real possibility that the wishes of the New Hampshire majority will continue to be ignored by a gerrymandered state legislature.
In her final flourish of misleading commentary, Ms. Preston dismisses as “hogwash” the concerns that other personal freedoms established by the Supreme Court over the objections of “states rights” advocates will be at risk. Same-sex marriages and racially mixed marriages are two such personal freedoms decided by the Supreme Court not so very long ago, also over the objections of “states rights” arguments. Hogwash — I don’t think so. What a Supreme Court establishes, a future Supreme Court may overturn, perhaps much more easily than we have long thought.
Attack on reproductive rights makes vote for Maggie Hassan a top priority
May 16 — To the Editor:
With the recent news that the Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, it is more important than ever to support and re-elect Sen. Maggie Hassan.
For almost 50 years, Roe has protected women’s rights to make their own reproductive health care decisions. Sen. Hassan has long championed reproductive rights, women’s rights and healthcare rights. She stood up for New Hampshire women as our governor, as a state senator and now as our U.S. senator. We must guarantee that she can continue to protect women’s rights in a second term in the U.S. Senate.
Republicans Chuck Morse, Kevin Smith, and Don Bolduc, do not support a woman’s right to make her own choices. As New Hampshire Senate president, Chuck Morse orchestrated the new New Hampshire abortion restrictions that have no exceptions for rape, incest, or a fetus unable to survive. The restrictions, signed into law by Gov. Sununu, include an invasive vaginal ultrasound requirement not recommended by health care providers, with no exception for sexual assault survivors who face being re-traumatized by this invasive procedure. The law also includes criminal penalties for healthcare providers.
Kevin Smith and Don Bolduc support New Hampshire and other states’ restrictions that subject women’s healthcare choices to the dictates of state legislatures instead of professional medical expertise. New Hampshire has a history of supporting a woman’s right to choose. Please support Sen. Hassan’s reelection so she can protect the rights of New Hampshire women and advocate for reproductive and healthcare rights for all.
Those who sowed seeds of hate reaped harvest of murder in Buffalo
May 16 — To the Editor:
Buried on page 12 of the Sunday New York Times was the story of an 18-year-old while male shooting 14 mostly Black people, killing 10 in a predominantly Black neighborhood supermarket. The alleged killer traveled over 200 miles from his home in Conklin, New York, to Buffalo to unleash his hate. This was among at least four other mass shootings that took place over the same weekend. In California, a gunman killed 1 and critically injured 4 at a church. In Austin, Texas, 2 were killed and 3 wounded at a flea market shooting. In North Carolina, 7 people were shot in multiple shootings across the state. In Milwaukee, 17 people were shot and wounded. Just another deadly bloody weekend of gun violence in gun crazed America.
While there were multiple motives and causes for this uncontrolled gun violence, the one thing they all have in common is the ability of almost anyone to own a gun, including the most deadly assault style weapon. In every case it was not just the people who killed people, it was people with guns who were able to quickly shoot and kill multiple victims.
While every case of gun violence is a tragedy, the Buffalo hate crime case is of particular concern considering our current political environment. How does an 18-year-old develop such pathological hate for immigrants and people of color? What were the social, family, media and other influences that this child was exposed to that led him to commit such violence? Unfortunately, much of the answer to that question lies in the 180-page manifesto supposedly written by the shooter. His manifesto "was riddled with racist, anti-immigrant views that claimed white Americans were at risk of being replaced by people of color, an ideology known as the "great replacement" theory," according to the NYT article.
The killer's reference to the "great replacement" theory gives us a very clear explanation as to what influences this child may have been exposed to that led him to commit such a hideous hate crime. It seems very possible that the killer's reference to the "great replacement" theory was instilled in him by outside influences. The "great replacement" theory has been used by Fox News host Tucker Carlson repeatedly, and variations of the theory are being used by a number of right-wing talk radio hosts as well as a number of Republican members of Congress. In fact, Rep. Liz Cheney wrote on Twitter Monday, "The House GOP leadership has enabled white nationalism, white supremacy, and anti-Semitism. History has taught us that what begins with words ends in far worse." The words from people like Tucker Carlson and others plant the seeds of hate in fertile minds like the Buffalo killer, and they continue to fertilize those seeds of hate with the horse manure spewed on their programs and in their words, ending in things far worse than their vile words.
Rich DiPentima, LTC. USAF. Ret.
This article originally appeared on Portsmouth Herald: What have anti-choice activists done to protect the living? Letters