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Thursday, Dec. 3, 2009 02:21 am

Letters to the Editor 12/03/2009

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LET WOMEN DECIDE
When Planned Parenthood attended the very first health care reform discussion at the White House in March, President Obama made it clear that, under health reform, Americans will not lose the benefits they currently have. Unfortunately, hours before the U.S. House of Representatives was set to vote on the health care reform bill on Nov. 7, anti-choice forces violated that central tenet of health care reform with the passage of the Stupak Ban, an amendment that would place unprecedented restrictions on women’s access to private health insurance coverage for abortion under health care reform. This measure would prohibit millions of women from using their own money to purchase private insurance that covers abortion, a benefit offered now by most private health insurance plans.    

For this entire year, we have been working tirelessly to pass reform that will ensure quality, affordable health care coverage for all in the United States. Without a doubt, achieving this long-sought and important goal will mean that women are guaranteed the right to purchase the health insurance of their choice, including coverage for reproductive care. We urge Congress to honor the president’s solemn promise that Americans who like their present coverage can keep it.

Women must be able to decide what kind of insurance coverage is best for them and their families, and insurers must be able to offer coverage for a full array of reproductive health care. Anything less is unacceptable.

Steve Trombley
President and CEO
Planned Parenthood of Illinois



HATE SPEECH ISN’T FREE
Freedom of expression is not on trial in Sangamon County; Scott Humphrey’s hate speech, malicious threats and callous disregard for the rights of George Sisk are [see “Blogger busted” Oct. 15].

Freedom of speech is not absolute. Hate speech and threats, such as Humphrey’s infamous “rat” comment, among others, violate the constitutional protection and rights of people in protected groups such as Sisk. Humphrey’s opinions are his to express; however, his use of “rat” and “kill” on American Everyman trample Sisk’s right to freedom from hate speech, malicious threats and slanderous attacks. This is not the type of speech that should be offered protection under the Constitution.  

Humphrey’s interpretation of free speech is fit for radicals and despotic leaders of countries that engage in violence and threatening conduct. Humphrey’s interpretation of free speech is not fit for those in America and definitely not for those in Springfield. Justifying hate speech and threats against a person’s life and well-being as free speech is a smear on the Constitution and the democratic values protecting life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Olga M. Pereira
Springfield



HEED FRANKLIN
When asked “What have you given us?” Ben Franklin said, “A republic, if you can keep it.” What did Franklin mean?

Did he fear that political parties would come into play, and our elected representatives would disregard their allegiance to the republic in favor of their allegiance to a political party? In any event, this is what has happened.

Bob Ruble
Springfield



SNIPE HUNTS
How big a deal is it that an American president is willing to follow protocol to help heal the largely hidden rifts between our nation and others in the world? It is certainly easy to believe we should point fingers and yell “foul!” or else be considered weak, but in reality we are looked upon as a leader of the world and should set an example that we can also be gracious and humble. At this stage we are hard-pressed to gain military support from other world leaders because we are seen as arrogant and possibly unwise.

When you pundits can stand up publicly and speak with some sincerity and truth, you may begin to be worth the paper used to print your nonsense. The idea that a leader is weak for addressing another in the manner of that country is weak-minded on your part. It is just this type of reporting that has created a lot of the problems we see now, that there is too much time spent on “snipe hunts” rather than truth hunts, and this has caused people to believe lies rather than truth. If you look back into American history, you will see we have already left a trail of bodies that belie our so-called “strength” and we have had to come back, hat in hand, to these very same people we considered weak.

How about some real truth for a change!

Michael Abrams
Springfield


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