Re "A 'Rush' to humiliate," Maureen Dowd, March 4:
Ms. Dowd's column is almost laughable. Typical liberal. Blame everyone except the person causing the problem. Did it ever occur to Ms. Dowd that Sandra Fluke did an excellent job of humiliating herself and her parents? Has she no shame, flaunting her lifestyle in front of Congress and the world?
She is supposed to be intelligent and studying to be a lawyer, while displaying pure stupidity. And then Obama, who also made himself look foolish, called and thanked her. Unbelievable. Apparently neither one of them read the Bible to see what the Lord says about sex without being married.
Of course, political correctness is supposed to prevail. No wonder the country is in trouble with nonsense like this wasting taxpayers' money.
No, Rush didn't humiliate her, she humiliated herself and her family.
-Doris M. Parkes, New Holland
Romney's safe path
Mitt Romney failed another test of character this month. At first, when asked about Rush Limbaugh calling Sandra Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute," Romney would not comment. The next day he said only, "I'll just say this, which is, it's not the language I would have used."
He did not say it was wrong, inappropriate or offensive. Once again, he took the calculated, politically safe route. Once again, he showed he has limited moral principles. Once again, he failed a test related to courage and leadership.
-Kenneth M. Ralph, East Hempfield Township
I do not recall it being front-page news when left-wing, so-called comedian Bill Maher called Sarah Palin a crude four-letter word used to degrade females. I also do not recall President Obama calling Sarah Palin to express his outrage as to her being referred to as such.
I also do not recall reporting anywhere in the mainstream press that Bill Maher contributed $1 million to President Obama's re-election campaign. Imagine that, the great uniter, the great supporter and protector of women and women's rights accepting $1 million from a man who degrades women on a regular basis and calls them vulgar names only because they are conservative. How ironic.
-Bill Ulrich, Manheim
Erosion of freedoms
I buy auto insurance so that I don't suffer a catastrophic loss if I crash. I don't expect my insurance to pay for my repairs or gas. Why should health insurance be different? Sure, if an insurance company thinks it will save money by subsidizing exercise, diagnostic procedures or even contraception that is fine. But a government mandate?
It would be nice to have those who exercise outdoors pay my gym membership, but do I really have a just claim on their income. Likewise I certainly do not want to help pay for the active sex life of a student.
Forcing us all to subsidize contraception has nothing to do with health care or insurance. It is one more erosion of our freedom to enhance the power of the Federal government; it is also a gratuitous slap in the face of religious freedom.
-John Bates, Lancaster
Case of coercion
Our local GOP House members are correct in writing [March 4] that "informed consent is the cornerstone of ethical, modern medicine." HB 1077, the Women's Right to Know Act, however, seeks to replace consent with coercion, not merely to offer a procedure but to require it under threat of prosecution.
To allow government to insert itself so forcefully into the private lives of citizens should be anathema to all who know and value the constitutional freedoms our country has traditionally upheld.
It provides no comfort when the members conclude that "HB 1077 is still working its way through the legislative process" and is hence subject to further improvement. The conception of this bill is fundamentally flawed, and it should be withdrawn altogether.
-David Allan, Lititz
Reasons for ultrasounds
I am an obstetrician/gynecologist, and although I do not perform abortions, I do think that an ultrasound exam should be a requirement before performing an abortion.
Important information that can be obtained by this exam includes: 1) ensuring that the pregnancy is intrauterine and not ectopic, 2) checking to see if the baby is alive, 3) determining gestational age, 4) looking for the presence of twins, triplets, etc., 5) evaluating the uterus for abnormalities (fibroid tumors, double uterus) and 6)excluding abnormal pregnancies such as a molar pregnancy.
Because an abortion is an invasive procedure that may have complications (bleeding, infection, uterine injury, need for hysterectomy, infertility and maternal death), it is imperative that the abortion provider have all the information necessary to perform an appropriate, safe and effective procedure. If a woman has the right to an abortion, she also has the right to the safest procedure medicine can provide.
-Tim Boley, M.D., West Lampeter Township
Since when is having the right to something (i.e., health care, birth control, abortion) synonymous with having someone else pay for it?
Carried to its logical conclusion, this popular line of reasoning would be ludicrous. We have the right to own guns and property; next we'll expect them to be handed to us. Since we have the freedom to worship, maybe the government should build and maintain our places of worship, too.
Americans used to take pride in paying our own way. Now we seem bent on getting a handout from Uncle Sam.
Spending cuts mean all of us will have to sacrifice. (Sacrifice? Isn't that how our country was founded?)
-Lori Longenecker, Mount Joy Township
Back to the cave, men
The response of the legislators to House Bill 1077 was as insulting and demeaning, if not more, than the bill itself. If women, as they stated, "did not believe nor understand the life inside them was a developing baby," then why did they pursue or undergo an abortion?
Kill this bill, and return to the cave in which you reside.
-Charlotte D. Sprenkle, Cochranville
Re the local GOP House delegation's explanation of support for HB 1077:
Yes, pregnant women deserve access to all pertinent health information and their options. Sure, abortion is horrible and not without medical or emotional risk.
However, as one of the bases for this legislation, our representatives cite remorseful women (no number or other information provided) who do not appear to have understood what was going on inside their bodies or what an abortion entails and who, with additional information, would have declined abortion.
Our representatives will put a stop to this buyers' remorse by criminalizing procedures that don't document the "child's" "scientifically proven" unique personality through ultrasound. They are not "offering this timely and life-changing information," they are mandating [it] on their own nonmedical, nonscientific terms.
Please ask them to let doctors work with patients without government intrusion "grounded in a basis of religious faith."
-Jim Weber, West Hempfield Township
Not a matter of health
In their March 4 column, Republican lawmakers inaccurately state that "national standards of abortion providers and best medical practice require" the use of ultrasounds for women seeking first-trimester abortion care.
The National Abortion Federation is the professional association of abortion providers in North America, and we set the standards through our evidence-based clinical policy guidelines. We do not require an ultrasound for first-trimester abortion care because there is no evidence that doing so improves patient outcomes or safety. Abortion is already one of the safest medical procedures.
Although many of our members use ultrasound evaluation to confirm pregnancy in the first trimester, that does not mean that states should make it mandatory. That ... should be a medical decision left to the clinician and the patient. The state has no place interfering in these decisions.
In response to the public outcry, the House has temporarily set the bill aside, but we urge Pennsylvania lawmakers to permanently reject this misguided bill.
-Vicki Saporta, President and CEO, National Abortion Federation, Washington, D.C.
Shares her opinion
I thank Shirley A. Derme for her letter, "Obama out of touch." She certainly expressed the feelings of millions of Americans who are just plain tired and disgusted with the present administration and [the president], who is so confident that he will have another term in the White House.
Her thoughts were well expressed. We hope the majority of your readers will pay attention.
-George Friborg, Ephrata
Quoted out of context
In response to David Charles Edgar's letter (March 4), "No test for Obama": You quote John Adams out of context in an effort to criticize liberals and support Rick Santorum. Obviously, you are unaware of Adams' antagonism toward Catholicism.
Adams was of the opinion that a Catholic country could not nurture a true republic, as evidenced in numerous letters written to Thomas Jefferson. In a letter to his wife, Abigail, Adams described Catholics at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Philadelphia as "poor wretches fingering their beads, chanting Latin, not a word of which they understood; their pater-nosters and ave Marias ; their holy water; their crossing themselves perpetually; their bowing to the name of Jesus, wherever they hear it; their bowings, and kneelings, and genuflections ... ."
But don't feel bad, Mr. Edgar. Mitt Romney misused the same Adams quote in 2007, to his regret. Maybe you should consider supporting the Mormon.
-Phillip Tanner, Denver
Beck, stay home
In April, Dayspring Christian Academy will sponsor Glenn Beck speaking at the Lancaster County Convention Center. Beck is notorious for denying that social justice is part of Jesus' gospel message. As anyone who has actually read the Gospels knows, this is either gross misunderstanding or outright falsehood.
Beck also promotes the work of pseudo-historian David Barton, who uses selective and deceptive editing, misquotes and fabrications to teach a highly distorted version of American history. Together Beck and Barton promote a dangerous Christian nationalism that threatens the religious freedom of both non-Christians and millions of American Christians who do not believe as they do.
I urge Dayspring to reconsider the invitation to Beck and to sponsor instead a speaker who accurately represents both the living gospel of Jesus Christ and the freedoms guaranteed to all citizens by the U. S. Constitution.
-Marian L. Shatto, Warwick Township
Prior to the approval of the Lancaster County Convention Center, many business people warned the government and the public of the very things currently being experienced.
Although Rich Hall, Clyde W. Horst, Bernie Schriver, Louis R. Petolicchio, Bruce Ayrton and many others were not listened to, the fact is, they were right. Now new warnings are being given about taking more dollars from the local lodging industry to bail out the competition. What happens when those tax dollars run out?
Another increase, and then another?
-Gerald Leaman, New Holland
They are people first
I would like to first thank the newspaper for the excellent coverage of the sensory-sensitive movie event at Penn Cinema on March 3. More than 200 people attended, and everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy the movies shown, "The Lorax" and "The Journey." Families were able to experience a typical family outing, regardless of the child's abilities or disabilities.
Secondly, in speaking and writing about people with special needs, it is best to say or write "people/children with special needs." In this way, we identify them first as people or children, then describe their needs, rather than vice versa.
A special thank-you as well to Penn Ketchum and Penn Cinema for welcoming all people to the movies.
-Risa Paskoff, Lancaster
Against their beliefs
The Rev. Allan Wolfe's "Matters of Faith" article [March 4] points out that the government should not compel an individual or religious institution to fund a practice it deplores.
The debate over contraception reveals widespread agreement that the law needs to respect a position of conscience. Unfortunately, this logic has not yet been extended to the payment of taxes that support a huge military machine that kills people.
If government regulations can accommodate the Catholic Church on a teaching ignored by the vast majority of its followers, shouldn't those who object to paying for war receive similar consideration for a belief foundational to their faith?
The public is invited to grapple with these issues at today's 3 p.m. presentation of "Stories of Conscience and Taxes in a Culture of War" at the Lancaster Church of the Brethren, 1601 Sunset Ave.
-Harold A. Penner, Akron
Promotes gay agenda
Just what are you thinking, sending Gil Smart [column, March 4] to a school where most of the students are under 18 to promote his gay sexual agenda. That's just wrong, as well as perverted.
-Steve Soldner, Mountville
I am saddened by all the negative news about some young people. I attended a most wonderful jazz exhibition at Conestoga Valley High School on March 2, and I was amazed at all the talent. It brought such joy to my heart.
The emcee kept reminding us how it is so important to keep music in the schools. I urge parents to support these children and these concerts and all of us to enjoy the music. A big thank-you to all the music teachers.
-Nancy Deering, Ronks