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Abortion Not Just About ‘Lady Parts’

THE JOURNAL’S UpFront piece (Jan. 28) began with, “It’s curious how often the people who are against (gun restriction) are the same people who want the government to put its hands all over our lady parts.”

Not quite. There is more to the abortion equation than “lady parts.”

The simple medical fact is that a baby growing inside a woman’s womb is a completely separate human being with its own separate blood type, DNA and fingerprints. Early into gestation, a fetus even experiences pain. At 20 weeks, an unborn child’s nerve connections for sensing pain have developed. And, according to American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ former president, Dr. Richard Schmidt, “It can be clearly demonstrated that fetuses seek to evade certain stimuli” the same way adults react to pain.

The American Society of Anesthesiologists recently published an article demonstrating that 80 percent of British neuroscientists recommend providing unborn children with pain medication for abortions after 11 weeks gestation. Fetal pain has little to do with “lady parts.”

In this seemingly endless debate on abortion, there should at least be balance. There should not be a singular focus on “lady parts” or any other entity that excludes attention to the unborn child.

KEMP LEWIS

Farmington

Why Was March for Life Ignored?

THE MARCH FOR Life in Washington, D.C., on Friday (Jan. 25), with at least 500,000 attending, was completely ignored by the Albuquerque Journal, but you did have the space to write about Hillary Clinton’s glasses.

The pro-life march in Santa Fe on Jan. 16 wasn’t even considered a newsworthy story by the local media, but on Sunday there was a long article in this paper about the anti-gun march by a only a few thousand in Washington, D.C.

The vast amount of coverage that is given when an infant is killed is entirely appropriate, but where are the stories about more than a dozen unborn humans that die by abortion every day in Albuquerque? There is only silence about this horror. We have one of the very few late-term abortion facilities in the country, and there isn’t any outcry from the media, churches, or the public at large.

Some say abortion is a political or religious issue, so they can give a justification for their apathy. If they were aware that a newborn baby or infant was being beaten to death next door to them, would they respond by saying that it’s a political or religious issue and consequently not do anything? If a young child was about to cross the street into oncoming traffic, would they immediately try to stop them or would they make up an excuse for their inaction?

We have a moral responsibility for the human rights of the unborn. The unborn aren’t given any rights, even though they are just in a different location and are usually not as developed as a newborn. Everyone in this community needs to stand up for the innocent lives that are being destroyed at an alarming rate. The least the Albuquerque Journal could do is expose this tragedy, but it can’t even bring itself to report on others who are shining the light on it.

MONTE HARMS

Albuquerque

Rape Bill Brings Up Many Questions

REPUBLICAN STATE REP. Cathrynn Brown had introduced a bill that would have made it a third-degree felony for a rape victim to end a pregnancy that resulted from the rape. Brown (along with the nine co-sponsors of the bill) claims that it is “tampering with evidence” for a rape victim to have an abortion. Since few rape trials occur within the first three months after a rape has happened, this bill would effectively end the possibility of a victim having a legal abortion.

Since Brown is an attorney from Carlsbad, perhaps she can answer some basic questions that I have regarding House Bill 206.

What if, for some unknown reason, the rapist is not convicted in a court of law? Does he have “parental rights” and can he legally demand the child not be placed up for adoption but surrendered to him instead? And, since the rape victim is legally not a victim of this man and is simply classified a non-custodial parent, would the courts order the rape victim to pay child support until the child is 18?

What if the rapist is tried and convicted of rape? Are his parental rights automatically terminated upon conviction so that the victim could place the child up for adoption? If the rape victim keeps the child can the rapist demand his “parental rights” of visitation once he is released from prison? Surely the courts order child support when a child is born from rape even though it is unlikely any will be paid. Does that give the rapist the right to participate in child rearing decisions?

Fortunately, most rape victims do not become pregnant. Does Brown believe that no pregnancy is the equivalent of no evidence and, as such, the crime of rape did not happened? So many questions. …

Perhaps Brown should follow the advice given by Gov. Bobby Jindal and refrain from making “offensive and bizarre comments” or in this case offensive and bizarre legislation.

MARY MARQUEZ

Jemez Pueblo

Sen. Udall Is One Determined Guy

I’M SURE SEN. Udall’s failed effort to revise U.S. Senate rules re: filibuster will be continued. After all, he spent his entire eight years as N.M. Attorney General trying to determine why gasoline cost more in Santa Fe than in Albuquerque. He failed in that pursuit as well, but he never quit.

PLEAS M. GLENN

Albuquerque

Let Illegal Immigrants Support Us

SINCE ILLEGALS DON’T vote, I am puzzled as to why the Democrats are so insistent on maintaining this privilege that should be reserved for citizens. Since the issue won’t go away, illegals should pay an extra fee over and above what citizens are charged. The fee can be directed into a fund that assists low-income citizens of New Mexico pay for the $100 passports we’ll all have to get. Quid pro quo.

MADELON GRIEGO

Albuquerque

Sheriffs Don’t Have Right To Decide

A RECENT ARTICLE in the Albuquerque Journal reported that 29 of the 33 New Mexico county sheriffs have taken the position that they believe they do not have to enforce any federal (or state?) law that they regard as unconstitutional.

I find it to be a very scary thought that any law enforcement official, be they sheriff, marshal or policeman, would be making decisions as to what is and isn’t constitutional. Chaos would likely ensue if every law enforcement official made such decisions on their own. Would enforcement be different in different counties, based on the ideology of each sheriff? What if law enforcement officials disagree? Would the sheriffs block state police from enforcing these regulations, or vice versa?

Aren’t the courts the place where decisions on what is, or isn’t constitutional, supposed to occur? The sheriffs are free to express their opinion, but if they truly feel that some federal regulation or law is unconstitutional, their recourse is to file a lawsuit with the appropriate court, not to decide on their own whether or not to take action.

ED BIRNBAUM

Los Alamos

School Choice Socialism in Disguise

WITH “NATIONAL SCHOOL Choice Week” recently concluded, we continue one of the most poorly thought out and paradoxical ideas in American politics — and an idea with baffling persistence.

There is no better mechanism for placing private schools under governmental control than through school choice. With a lucrative “carrot” of subsidized tuition comes an obligation, of course, for qualifying schools to meet governmental standards and regulations, in order to accept school choice dollars. Disobedience means no dollars. There is no better way to eliminate private schools than school choice.

The counter-argument is even more quizzical. The rules of free-enterprise economics balance dollars to desires. If a governmental entity offers individuals money based upon their actions, the payment is always for social control — socialism, in summary. The right has put forth all sorts of verbal gymnastics to avoid the obvious regarding school choice; that tuition subsidies would influence rational decisions.

Injecting subsidy dollars into a market always causes shortages and price increases — as the “housing crisis” has just shown us. A true conservative would be horrified by school choice — if one cannot afford something, it is not the government’s duty to help you pay for it by giving you dollars. No matter if it’s couched in terms of “tax rebates” or “returns” — it is socialism, just a different flavor.

When the free market fails to deliver on government promises, that should not surprise and annoy conservatives. Spending money to fix reality is what big government is all about, conservatives say. Folks like Barry Goldwater and Robert Taft Jr. would be aghast at the proposition.

Both “liberals” and “conservatives” show monstrously bad thinking when it comes to school choice. This is an ominous marker, not about education but the lack of depth to our political decisions. It bodes poorly for the future, no matter what our educational system will look like.

STEVE VAUGHN

Albuquerque

Bad Campuses Bring Down Morale

AFTER READING THE article in the Jan. 23 edition of the Journal about the APS bond and mill levy questions at stake in the upcoming school board election, I went to the APS web site to learn more about the issues involved.

I read with interest the posting there about the opening of a new building at Wherry Elementary. This new building provides classroom space and a music room, and replaces aging portables at the school. The article quotes Principal Kathy Harper’s sublime expression of the psychology of place: “Teachers feel valued, and students feel like the community really cares about them by providing this new building.”

This gives me hope that APS Facilities might soon turn its efforts to Hubert Humphrey Elementary, and make good on its plan, presented to the school community 12 years ago, to build a new classroom wing there. The addition would allow for the removal of the “temporary” portables that have been on the campus for over 25 years, as well as the accompanying “temporary” infrastructure — power poles that tilt crazily in all directions and overhead electric lines that droop over the playground.

These ugly, makeshift facilities are a stain on an otherwise attractive campus, and an affront to the residents of the subdivisions that the school serves, subdivisions that otherwise adhere to current design standards and city ordinances. And as Principal Harper points out, the students, teachers and neighbors who have to live and work and learn in and among facilities like these get the message that they are not valued.

MIKE DAVIS

Albuquerque

Why Did Democrats Kill DWI Bill?

SHAME ON THE Democrats in the current legislative session for the tabling of a proposal that would enhance the penalties for DWI offenders. In a straight party line vote, the Democrats defeated a motion to impose tougher sanctions on repeat drunken drivers. GOP members would have allowed it to go forward. Who are the Democrats defending? Who are they protecting? Didn’t something like this happen in last year’s legislative session?

In the nearly 15 years that I have lived in New Mexico, I have heard the steady call in the Albuquerque Journal and in so many other outlets of the dire necessity to get tough with the epidemic of drunk drivers in this state, particularly with repeat offenders. Hardly a week goes by when one doesn’t hear of disgusting stories of drunk drivers being arrested for their 6th, 7th, 8th or nth time of driving while intoxicated. Why haven’t these people been taken off of the streets permanently? Even worse are the horrible stories of carnage on the highways with folks being killed or maimed by these drunks.

Despite such a manifest need for state action to give law enforcement and prosecutors more tools to deal with this situation, the Democrats on the Consumer and Public Affairs committee have tabled a motion for enhanced DWI penalties primarily on the grounds that such prosecutions might cost more money. What a joke! This is the first time the Democrats have ever been concerned about spending too much tax money.

During the next election cycle, the voters of New Mexico should remember the party of the representatives who are failing to manifestly protect them. Maybe the Democrats should help pass the enhanced penalties bill and claim they are doing it for the reason they say they do everything else: For the Children!

BRIAN V. MICHALEC

Albuquerque

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