Letters to the Editor – Readers share strong opinions on “heartbeat billing” and abortion
Subject: “Heartbeat Bill is law – the near-total abortion ban goes into effect September 1, and opponents plan to fight it in court,” the May 20 message said.
Now that Governor Greg Abbott signs a comprehensive ban on abortion, we should ask Republicans a fundamental question: What do they really believe? The self-contradiction of their last decade (remember Sen. Mitch McConnell’s double-punch manipulation of the Supreme Court nomination process as Senate majority leader) is on record, so it’s hard to know.
A popular right-wing mantra by Republicans has been the crime of transgression: Laws should not be written to limit how and by what means we can arm ourselves, nor to require that we accept vaccination or masking mandates.
However, when it comes to medical abortions, they seem quite content with the government telling women what to do with their bodies and the government imposing a unique religious stand that surpasses all others.
What’s next? Religious confirmation before voting? If the privileged interpretation of God’s will replaces personal choice, then we accept a Middle Eastern-style theocracy and are done with it.
Because right and wrong are so difficult to define, we might do better if our leaders showed some degree of persistence not just in one position but across the spectrum of their positions.
Robert M. Lebovitz, North Dallas
The hypocrisy is absurd
The passage of this law is making me sick. The stories anti-abortion activists tell to get their point across often revolve around a pregnant woman deciding to continue the pregnancy and how grateful she was for it. All of these anecdotes are based on choice. These women chose to do what was in their best interests. Why not trust others?
Abortion is a medical procedure, not the service of the devil. I’ve spent the last year watching certain lawmakers induce tantrums over wearing masks. Yet they have no problem telling a girl who becomes pregnant as a result of rape that she must continue the pregnancy because that group of cells in her body is worth more than her physical or mental health (oops! You have the six passed -week sign).
This hypocrisy is absurd. We cannot let religion lead us backwards. We must not allow the “right to life” to override women’s right to freedom of choice over our own bodies.
Jenny Stone, Dallas
When does human life begin?
With the recent signing of the Heartbeat Bill, many have denounced the legislative landmark as a case of Abbott-esque despotism. An Instagram post says: “Dictating women’s bodies is never okay.” Such a statement carries moral weight in relation to the perceived ethical failures of Governor Greg Abbott and his cohorts.
Despite the moral struggle for power inherent in abortion legislation, there seems to be a lack of concern when a first-order question is asked: When does human life begin? Little attention is paid to a factual matter that underpins the moral conversation.
Some say, “It is not a child; it’s a clump of cells “or” it couldn’t survive outside of the womb. “Many are confident of what human life is not. However, this suggests that they have an equally dogmatic understanding of what human life is to resolutely share what human life is not.
The ambiguity of these positions about human life is troubling and inhibits our ability to move constructively to the moral issue at hand. Until we can thoughtfully contribute to the conversation about the first order problem, we will frustrate our efforts to adequately answer the moral question.
Sawyer Lake, Dallas
It’s about saving life
Subject: “Get Out of the Abortion Business” by John D. Zeigler, letters dated May 10th.
The author points out that the Texan legislature’s efforts to curb abortion are an attempt to impose religious beliefs on all. Nothing is further from the truth. It’s not about religion, it’s about sustaining life.
Life begins at conception. Logic would tell us that breaking off this life at any stage kills this life. Of course there is a religious justification for protecting life at all stages.
Many faiths believe in the sanctity of life and, as a result, advocate the prohibition of abortion. However, there is a non-religious rationale that arises from a purely secular perspective. The first inalienable right given in the Declaration of Independence is that of “life”.
The state does not impose religious morals on its citizens. She fulfills her obligation to defend the most basic right – the right to life. The religious justification corresponds to a cultural and legal justification for refusing abortion.
Tom Collingwood, Richardson
God should be responsible
In this “heartbeat bill”, abortions would be banned before many women knew they were pregnant. There are also “no exceptions for rape or incest”. Just to understand if I had a 16-year-old daughter with cystic fibrosis who was raped by a family member who carries the recessive gene for cystic fibrosis and the resulting pregnancy was only discovered after a fetal heartbeat was detected, let alone of all consequences In the case of incest birth defects, she and I would be prohibited from making a very personal, agonizing and moral decision. Instead, it would be politically dictated by strangers.
Their life expectancy is in their early 40s at best, so the child would be afraid of losing their mother at any time. Since many women who have been forced to conceive frequently give up their parental rights, their child would lead a life knowing that it was unwanted and rejected at birth. That kid would have a good chance of ending up in a care system, too, and we all know what crap that is.
I am an elder in my church and I believe in a God who forgives rather than judges. He should be in charge on this issue, not us!
Ted M. Moore, Dallas / Preston Hollow
Instead, prevent pregnancy
Subject: “Drop Signs and Help Children” by Norma Bell, letters dated May 20.
I agree with Bell that fathers should be held accountable for the children who created them, even though their solution is hyperbolic and impractical.
As a Christian, I believe that Scripture is clear both about the sanctity of human life and that the only proper place for sex is to express love and commitment between a heterosexual couple.
As an American, I don’t insist that everyone believe the way I do. As a constitutionalist, I am not trying to turn our nation into a theocracy, nor do I know anyone who is.
As a believer in common sense, I find it perfectly reasonable to expect two people who willingly engage in sexual activity, either to do so responsibly or to deal with the consequences of their irresponsibility without killing another human.
Clearly, the easiest and most humane way to deal with unwanted babies is to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Yet all I have ever heard of the abundance of abortion rights is obsessively ranting about a woman’s “choice”. How about making a decision to act responsibly to avoid creating and then killing a baby who was unable to exercise their rights or make decisions?
Kenneth Cross, Frisco
A life is precious
I’ve only read the editorial part of the paper. I take care of my mother and she loves reading the newspaper. I’ve noticed that most of the printed letters are from Liberals and few from Conservatives, but my brother told me The Dallas Morning News is for the Liberals so that this question is answered.
I want to answer the letter in which I asked why people don’t care for children instead of standing on the corner with a sign. My question is if you don’t want a baby why are you getting pregnant?
Second, there are no ifs or buts – a God created life is a person, and if you kill it, it’s murder. Short and simple. There are many places where you can get birth control.
You don’t have to be a Democrat or a Republican to understand the cycle of life. Why do we accuse people of killing babies instead of the people who continue to have them and cannot care for them? A life is precious from time to death. I know this is an old battle and an old opinion, but it is still a fact that people decide whether to believe or not.
Sherry Anderson, East Dallas
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