A woman's own choice

Dear Editor:I'm very concerned about the type of letters being published in the Patriot lately. Everyone's entitled to free speech, but spewing religious rhetoric as fact is a bit disconcerting. I urge you to remember that words are powerful things and dangerous, unfounded, and publicly-made claims can lead to tragedy, such as the killing of Dr. George Tiller by domestic terrorist and religious zealot Scott Roeder. I'm sorry Russ Johnson, but you can't boil the entire abortion debate down to a question of semantics (Letters to the Editor, 6/5/09). A baby is defined as a very young child who is not yet able to walk or talk, such as an infant. The last I checked women aren't taking their infants to abortion clinics in order to have them killed. The average abortion is performed when a woman is between six and eight weeks pregnant. It seems ridiculous to characterize a six-week-old fetus that could not - under any circumstances - live outside of a woman's body as a "baby". There is a separation of church and state for a reason. Not everyone in the United States is of a certain religious faith, if they even have one at all. I thank God - and yes, I believe in God despite my adamantly pro-choice stance - that I live in a country where those of certain religious leanings cannot dictate what I can and cannot do with my own body. Abortion is not a religious issue, it is a personal one meant to be discussed privately between a woman and her doctor. It is unreal to me that we're still having this debate. If you're morally opposed to abortion, don't have one. Take the necessary steps to ensure that your children will never have to be faced with the difficult decision as to whether or not they should have one. And by that I don't mean preaching to them about abstinence; I mean being a realistic parent and sitting them down for a serious discussion about the importance of self-respect and safe sex. I'm always blown away when men like Mr. Johnson suggest that a woman should keep a pregnancy that resulted from rape. "Is it ok to take the life of a child to make mommy feel better?" I'm disgusted by these sentiments. Women's bodies have been and continue to be battlegrounds; things that men project their opinions, religious beliefs, and control over. If the people writing into the Patriot are so concerned over what they perceive to be the "killing" of "human beings" that's taking place in abortion clinics across the country, they should concern themselves with the actual killing of human beings taking place in the various wars the United States is currently involved in. Stop protesting abortion clinics where women and their doctors are making careful, informed, and difficult decisions about personal reproductive health issues and instead, protest the War in Iraq where thousands of young American soldiers and Iraqis are losing their lives on a daily basis and have been for the past six years. - Tina Vasquez, Downey

********** Published: June 12, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 8