- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 28, 2007

Yes to abortion on demand

Bernard McLaughlin’s jaundiced view of women’s rights of conscience (“Roe v. Wade,” Letters, Saturday) only confused the issue. Here’s why: In 1992, Maryland residents had to vote on Question 6, whether to lock in for Maryland the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling upholding every woman’s right to decide for herself whether to end a problem pregnancy.

The results: Statewide, abortion rights were upheld 62 percent to 38 percent, in Montgomery County 70 percent to 30 percent, in Prince George’s 66 percent to 34 percent, in Howard 65 percent to 35 percent.

The question is not how people feel about abortion at various stages of gestation or for what reason women seek the procedure (contraceptive failure, rape, spousal abandonment, woman’s health, fetal deformity, etc.) but, rather, who should decide, the individual woman and her physician or Big Brother government. Most Americans reject government intrusion into women’s most basic right.

KENNETH A. STEVENS

Savage, Md.

Maryland and Real ID

To the editorial “Commonsense immigration enforcement” (Friday) should be added this looming problem, further illustrating the thrall in which Maryland Democrats are held by illegal aliens and their lobbyists.

Those reading this who possess a Maryland driver’s license should be advised that they will not be able to use it after May 11 of next year for federal ID purposes unless Maryland changes its licensing policies to require proof of citizenship or legal presence in the U.S., according the federal REAL Identity Act of 2005. We sent the Montgomery County House delegation (all Democrats) the following e-mail about this issue on Jan. 4:

“We have not had the courtesy of a reply to [an earlier] e-mail, so we write again with an update on this issue of great concern to these registered Democrats.

“Jane Lawton was quoted [in The Washington Times] recently on this as saying, ‘It’s up to the federal government to step up to the plate and decide if foreigners should be denied licenses.’ Ms. Lawton may be uninformed on what the federal government has done to impact Maryland driver’s licenses.

“According to what we’ve seen, the REAL Identity Act of 2005 requires all states, beginning in May 2008, to require ‘valid documentary evidence’ a person ‘is a citizen of the United States’ (or here lawfully on a visa, etc.) before issuing a driver’s license to that person. If a state does not have such protections in place, Ms. Lawton, ‘a federal agency may not accept, for any official purpose, a driver’s license’ issued by that state.

“What that seems to us to mean, Ms. Lawton, is that the federal government will not accept ourvalid and legally obtained Maryland driver’s licenses at airport security at BWI, post offices, etc.

“We await your response as to what is to be done to avoid this looming problem.”

Predictably, we have had no response to our two e-mails to the Democratic county House delegation. Perhaps they are praying (oops, sorry, you can’t do that) that the problem will simply vamoose.

ELIZABETH AND

GEORGE VARY

Bethesda

Hugo Chavez and the Castro precedent

The article “Chavez threatens to expel ‘meddling’ U.S. ambassador,” (Page 1, Saturday) warns that President Hugo Chavez may not justly compensate U.S. companies that he intends to nationalize. Such warnings may be a bit premature. Citgo, owned by Venezuela, has major assets in the United States that could be attached by American companies to secure compensation. Still, as Mr. Chavez continues the transformation of Venezuela into a Cuba with money, it may be useful to recall how it happened in Cuba and how it could happen elsewhere.

One of the first measures of the Castro government was to reduce exploitation by cutting payments of rents in half. I remember that almost everyone who did not own his or her home applauded. With reduced revenues, many owners could not cover their mortgages and defaulted. In less than two years after Castro entered Havana most American property had been confiscated.

Cuban laws 890 and 891 appeared in the Cuban Official Gazette of Oct. 13, 1960. The two new laws dealt with relatively small Cuban-owned property. By then, what was left of Cuban capitalism was nearly moribund, and production for profit soon became immoral and illegal.

According to 890, appropriate compensation for each business would be decided “later.” Meanwhile, the Cuban government set maximum compensation for the nationalized property at 10,000 pesos. Higher valuations, if any, would be deposited sometime in the future in a bank to be chosen by the Cuban government. It never happened. The U.S. dollar was declared illegal currency.

Law 891 merely formalized the nationalization of all the banks, bank deposits, pension funds and mortgage-defaulted real estate previously taken. The Cuban government would not declare itself officially communist for another six months, and it would take several more years for the government to confiscate the rest of the capitalist economy.

Laws 890 and 891 were the natural consequence of an environment under which a large segment of the population thought that private enterprise could do nothing right. The two laws created the conditions 46 years ago that eventually caused the Cuban economy to collapse and the introduction of the ration coupon system still in effect. If you think that the rich are exploiters and that wealth is made at the expense of the poor, you would not consider 890 and 891 excessive. How far would you want to go to eliminate inequalities?

Many people want a society that is compassionate and provides health care and outstanding education for everybody. They want such goals to be achieved without trampling on human rights. They don’t want workers to be compensated according to their ability to produce but paid a “living wage” not dependent on profits. In their vision, there would be no rich people and poverty would be eradicated. Production would not be made for profit, but to take care of the ills of society while protecting the environment. The state would hence become the only benefactor. That model is near. In Cuba it all began when rents were cut in half.

MIGUEL DE LA PENA

Lunenburg, Mass.

Abortion and breast cancer

In a story concerning the Food and Drug Administration’s review of standards on birth control pills (“FDA weighs standards on birth control pills,” Nation, Wednesday), Amy Allina of the National Women’s Health Network (NWHN) told Associated Press, “Today most birth control pills are very safe for the vast majority of women.”

However, the federal government added steroidal estrogens to its list of known carcinogens approximately six years ago.

The World Health Organization classified combined oral contraceptives (OCs) and combined hormone replacement therapy (HRT) as Group 1 carcinogens in July 2005. OCs can be delivered orally or via injection, patch or vaginal ring.

Two medical journals — the New England Journal of Medicine (January 2006) and Mayo Clinic Proceedings (October 2006) — published findings showing that OCs increase breast cancer risk. The latter showed that 21 out of 23 studies dating from the early 1980s report risk increases for OC users. Use before the birth of a first child is especially risky, as it is associated with more aggressive premenopausal cancers.

Their findings provide support for an abortion-breast cancer link because the biological basis is the same.

Few know that combined OCs and combined HRT contain the same drugs (estrogen and progestin), but OCs contain a higher dose. The Breast Cancer Prevention Institute argues that it’s illegal for athletes to use male steroid hormonal drugs, but it’s accepted for women to take the female kind for contraceptive purposes. The male kind builds muscle, and one risk is liver cancer. The female kind builds breast tissue and increases the risk of cancers of the breast, liver and cervix.

The NWHN’s mission is to advance what has been propagandized euphemistically as “reproductive rights.” Those who really care about women’s health and their rights are forthright about these breast cancer risks.

KAREN MALEC

Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer

Hoffman Estates, Ill.

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