This is where the left has gone with abortion
June 27 — To the Editor:
If the left wing in the United States is looking for someone to blame for Roe v. Wade being overturned, they can start by looking at themselves. Over the years, their views on abortion have morphed from the relatively moderate “safe, legal, and rare” of the 1990s to the morally grotesque “shout your abortion” today.
Today we’re told repeatedly by the left that abortion is just “women’s health care." As if it’s in the same moral category as a knee surgery. No different. Not only is abortion of no moral significance whatsoever, but women should be proud to have had one and society should celebrate it.
I’m sorry but this is grotesque. Any pro-choice person who is even slightly moderate would recognize that abortion is not morally trivial even if one ultimately decides abortion should be legal.
I want to give an analogy to make the point how non-trivial the issue of abortion really is. Consider that nearly everyone believes that if you came home one day and found someone trespassing on your property you would have a right to remove that person. If they refuse to leave peacefully, you’d be morally justified in forcing them to leave. Perhaps by calling the police and having them frog march the trespasser off your property.
Now let’s modify the scenario a bit. And bear with me as this hypothetical is going to need to be a bit far-fetched to make the analogy work, but suppose the trespasser has a bomb in his body that is geo-fenced to your property line. If he tries to leave prior to the nine-month mark, the bomb will explode, killing him (though it wont harm anyone else). After nine months, the bomb will disarm and he can leave.
Now, if you were to force the trespasser to leave your property under these circumstances would you be morally justified in doing so? Sure you have a right to your private property and a right not to have people trespass, but can you justify exercising these rights in this circumstance instead of just waiting the nine months?
Regardless of which side you come down on in the above hypothetical, it should be obvious that this is anything but a morally trivial decision on par with a basic health care decision. If someone was to suggest that it is, you’d question if this person is some kind of sociopath incapable of feeling empathy or remorse.
Further, even if society unanimously concluded that the property owner ought to have a legal right to remove the trespasser short of nine months, even if it kills him, many people would still likely express justifiable moral revulsion at the property owner who exercised this option rather than simply waiting the nine months.
There are plenty of things in our society that you have a right to do that will still earn you the moral consternation of others. For example, we generally accept that the right to free speech includes the right to say things that are hateful, bigoted, or racist. But just because society has concluded that saying these things is not grounds for imprisonment, doesn’t mean they are of no moral consequence. Instead most people would rightfully express moral revulsion at someone who used their free speech in this way.
Now imagine if a movement came about trying to normalize saying hateful, bigoted, or racist things. Imagine if there was a “shout your racist tweets” movement. What would you think about that?
This is were the left has gone with abortion.
Pro-choicers used to want abortion to be “safe, legal, and rare." But why rare? If it’s of no moral consequence what difference does it make if it’s rare or not?
The reason is because the left used to acknowledge that abortion is not morally trivial. You are quite literally killing a human being! Even if you believe that the mother’s rights trump the child’s rights and this should be allowed, it’s most certainly not something to be proud of.
Going back to our analogy, we assumed you just came home one day and found the trespasser on your property. But with abortion, you don’t get pregnant at random. To get pregnant, you have to decide to engage in an act that you know has a non-zero chance of resulting in pregnancy.
Imagine that there was some perfectly legal activity that you engage in purely for pleasure that has a non-zero chance of resulting in some guy geo-fenced to your property with a bomb in him. I know this isn’t realistic, but the point is I think most people would say that choosing to remove the trespasser from your property in this case is even worse morally than the previous example because you knowingly undertook an action, for pleasure, that had a non-zero of risk of ending up in this scenario.
Yes, I know this analogy doesn’t work in the case of rape, but rape represents only 0.15% of abortions and over 95% of abortions are just due to the fact that the mother didn’t want to be inconvenienced.
The ultimate point of this article is to show that no serious thinker would treat abortion as morally trivial, on par with ordinary health care decisions. Even if one were to conclude that the procedure should still be allowed, despite the moral reservations, people who elect to have an abortion and in doing so kill another human being for no good reason other than they don’t want to be inconvenienced are fully deserving of our moral consternation and by no means should be celebrated.
The fact that the left doesn’t understand this is why they lost the abortion debate.
Chris Pacia, Durham
Overturning Roe v. Wade
June 27 — To the Editor:
The extent of hypocrisy in the Republican Party is truly astounding. They claim to be pro-life and are celebrating the unconscionable Supreme Court decision voiding Roe v. Wade. However, just the day before that decision, the Supreme Court also overturned a New York statute that limited the concealed carrying of firearms. I guess that they value gun rights more than women’s rights and women’s health.
Anti-abortion enthusiasts claim that their states will provide ample support for every woman, who is unable to have an abortion for an unwanted pregnancy, and her resulting child. However, the truth is that many of these states rank the highest in childhood poverty and lowest for accessible health care.
Also, Republicans adamantly proclaim that they favor small government. To the contrary, their overturning of Roe v. Wade is allowing Republican administrations to force their bias into our most personal and private of decisions—namely a woman’s control over her own body and her reproductive choices. Justice Clarence Thomas indicated that his Republican colleagues do not want to stop at banning abortions but would like to reconsider the subjects of contraception, same-sex marriage, and consensual adult sexual activity. No government should be inserting its judgment into any of these very personal rights and decisions.
I would urge all concerned citizens to become actively involved in all future elections — both local and national — and to vote for Democratic candidates who will be willing to support and defend these most personal rights.
H. Dixon Turner, MD, Portsmouth
Independence and freedom for all animals this July 4th
June 27 -- To the Editor:
When we think about our independence and freedom in the United States, I wonder how many people think of the freedom of farmed animals. There are currently 1.6 billion animals in our nation’s 25,000 factory farms who often never see the light of day.
Cows, chickens, pigs and more are subjected to unnecessary breeding, overfeeding, abuse, and slaughter each and every day. The majority of these animals are raised in environments unfit for any beings and there seems to be no end in sight. But releasing animals from cages, crates, and the psychological torment of BigAg and slaughterhouses can happen and is truly a step toward independence for all. When we stop treating animals as commodities, overall suffering in the world reduces, the Earth can heal, pandemic and antibiotic-resistance risks are reduced and human health will improve.
Luckily, there are options. Browse any grocery store or food co-op and you’ll uncover a variety of delicious, and nutritious, plant-based burgers and more. These products are showing up at cookouts across the country and are proving that this Fourth of July there can be freedom for all.
Donald Deluca, Kingston
Retiring Fire Chief Germain is a fine gentleman
June 27 — To the Editor:
On Thursday, June 23, an article appeared in the Portsmouth Herald under the Headline “Portsmouth Fire Chief Todd Germain to retire."
I have absolutely no problem with any of the contents of that article and thought it was well written. I do have a problem with the last statement, “Members of the Portsmouth Fire Commission did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Wednesday."
The optics of that statement will usually cast a doubt over the reasoning for the lack of response.
Upon returning home at 8 p.m., the evening before the article appeared, this Commissioner found a voice message from the reporter. I did not respond at that time and just put it off till morning. That was not “Immediately” enough for the reporter and the article went to press with “no comment”!
Fire Chief Todd Germain is one of the finest gentlemen I know. His entire career has been fueled to be best, to give the most and to teach others to do the same. He loves his profession; Todd rose to the level of chief because he wanted to leave for others a better working environment and prove to others that changes could be made, and he was willing to back up his beliefs with his actions.
He might be one of the best “non”-politicians this department and this city has seen in a long time!
Todd Germain can be and is “believable!!”
Hope this letter clears any question.
Dickie Gamester, Fire Commissioner
This article originally appeared on Portsmouth Herald: This is where the left has gone with abortion: Letters