Letters

Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

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March for Women‘s Lives: A March on Washington, D.C. is about Reproductive Freedom

Jill A. Warren, CEO/Executive Director Planned Parenthood Northern Michigan - April 22nd, 2004
This week, a million pro-choice women, men, and young people from around the country and around the world will converge in our nation‘s capital to communicate a simple truth: reproductive rights are human rights, and we all must be free to exercise them. That‘s what the March for Women‘s Lives on April 25 is all about.
The time is ripe for such a gathering. At every level -- federal, state, and local -- anti-choice hardliners are attacking our reproductive rights.
Anti-choice legislators have passed dangerous and misleading abortion bans on the federal and the state levels, threatening the lives and health of women. They‘ve imposed biased counseling laws and obstructionist mandatory waiting periods. These laws are an especially hard burden on women who live in one of the 87% of U.S. counties without an abortion provider and who must travel hours or days to access safe reproductive health care.
At the same time that they restrict access to abortion, anti-choice hardliners restrict access to the health care and information that can reduce the need for abortion. They promote abstinence-only education, which keeps our children in the dark when it comes to the truth about sexuality, contraception, pregnancy, and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. And, they attempt to restrict access to contraception, including emergency contraception. In some stores, pharmacists can refuse to fill valid prescriptions for birth control, regardless of the difficulties it poses for the woman in need. Many women whose pharmacists will fill their prescriptions often can‘t afford to pay, because many states still do not mandate contraceptive equity. Meanwhile, Viagra is routinely covered by health insurance plans.
These are all formidable obstacles to the exercise of reproductive rights. To overcome them, pro-choice Americans must not just fight back; we must also fight forward.
One crucial step in this direction is the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), recently introduced in Congress. FOCA will prevent governments at all levels from discriminating against women who use birth control, decide to give birth, or choose to end a pregnancy, and will overturn the 350 laws restricting choice that are already on the books at the state and municipal levels.
But passing legislation is not enough. We must also stand up for our goals of reproductive rights and self-determination for women, men, and teens all around the world. We want to advance the right to choose in the fullest sense, including, but not limited to, increasing access to family planning, safe and legal abortion, and providing the medically accurate and age-appropriate sexual health education our young people need.
On April 25, a million people of every age, race, ethnicity, and culture will come to our nation‘s capital in numbers so strong that they cannot be missed and with voices so impassioned that they cannot be ignored. Join us on this historic day, and add your voice to the sound of freedom.

 
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