Regarding the My View Column by Manju Rajendran (DN, Aug. 14):
I greatly appreciated Manju Rajendran’s incisive column. The connections she drew between her international advocacy work and personal experiences were powerful. I want to thank you for running such a meaningful, positive column.
Laura Britton, RN, BSN
Women, babies, deserve better
Regarding the My View Column by Manju Rajendran (DN, Aug. 14):
I am disappointed at the decision of The Chapel Hill News to allow itself to be used as a platform for the ongoing campaign of the ACLU and the abortion industry to “normalize” abortion. Concealed under euphemisms like “reproductive choice” and “care” is the fact that abortion harms mothers, babies, and our society as a whole. Women deserve better than abortion, as do the approximately 1 million American babies whose lives are ended by abortion every year.
The language of “choice” is used to obscure basic biological facts: the life of a unique, irreplaceable human being with his or her own DNA - distinct from the mother’s DNA – begins at fertilization. Not a “potential life” or a “clump of cells,” but an actual human being in the earliest stages of development. The science is settled on the question of when life begins; it is not a matter of personal opinion or faith. Despite the attempts of abortion lobbyists to deny the humanity of the unborn baby, that baby is nevertheless a human person, and abortion takes the life of that person.
Secondly, the fact is that even so-called “safe” abortion (which is never safe for the child whose life is ended) can have many unsafe physical and mental aftereffects for women. Post-abortive women have an increased risk of infertility, miscarriage, and pre-term labor in future pregnancies. They are also 65 percent more likely to experience long-term clinical depression, five times more likely to struggle with substance abuse, and are six times more likely to commit suicide. The current campaign of the ACLU, NARAL, and Planned Parenthood to try to make abortion something to be celebrated only further wounds abortion survivors by attempting to silence the voices of women who regret their abortions.
Lastly, true social justice is impossible in a society that accepts the idea that the strong have a “right” to solve their problems by eliminating those who are smaller or weaker. It is hard to see as coincidence the fact that abortion disproportionally targets minority and female babies, as well as those who may have a disability. Legalized abortion enables our society to avoid doing the hard work of implementing the policies and social changes that will allow all women and their children to thrive.
Gun control agenda
The author of the letter “The gun control agenda” (CHN, Aug. 17) does not understand how science works.
What she calls “an agenda” is what we scientists call a hypothesis. There is almost always an explicitly stated or implicitly understood prediction of what a planned study will show – a hypothesis. This is necessary so the study can be properly designed to clarify the subject of interest.
When a drug researcher says “We want to show that our new drug is effective against cancer,” it is not a preformed conclusion, it is a statement of the hypothesis. And of course scientists sometimes have a personal interest in the study outcome (the drug researcher wants the new drug to work, the auto engineer wants his innovation to improve mileage, and perhaps some CDC researchers favor stricter gun control). This is why the scientific method has been honed over centuries to remove personal biases and provide objective results (for example, open access to data, peer review, and study replication). It’s not perfect, but it’s the best way we have of getting at objective truth.
But the NRA does not want people to know the objective truth about guns because they are afraid of what it might show, so they and their flacks in Congress blocked the CDC research. This is the only “agenda” in this situation, the pro-gun lobby using their political power to block research that might show them in a bad light (do I get a whiff of tobacco here?). If the NRA people are so sure that guns are a benefit to society, why not let the facts come out?
I found Cathy Wright’s response to my letter disheartening (“The gun control agenda,” CHN. Aug. 17) . She attempts to discredit me by stating that my letter was “filled with errors and biases too numerous to address” and then not naming them. A time-honored tactic when facts aren’t available.
She then goes on and quotes two unnamed researchers in an effort to justify the bullying by congress of the CDC. Who are these researchers? From where are the quotes taken? It would have been nice if readers were allowed a little fact checking.
I tried to state some of the problems on both sides of the gun debate and get folks to think about how we could possibly work together to get a reasonable solution to the problem of gun violence that, according to polls, the majority of our citizens desire. In fact, when I read her statement “the CDC ignored a North Carolina study finding that the majority of fatal handgun crimes were committed by people with prior felony records,” I thought I could agree with Ms. Wright that we should keep weapons out of the hands of criminals. However, a quick look at her Facebook page reveals this: (Aug 15) “They want us to believe that ‘universal’ background checks are sensible and not threatening, but Obama has already publically (sic) stated that ‘universal’ background checks ‘won’t work without requiring national gun registration.’ We all know what gun registration can lead to: CONFISCATION.”
Attitudes such as Ms. Wright’s is why I ended my letter stating that I held little hope for quelling gun violence in the USA.
Youth-serving grant opportunity
Youth Forward, a nonprofit that supports Chapel Hill-Carrboro nonprofits, will offer a new, large grant opportunity this fall. Youth-serving nonprofits can apply for grants of $10,000 to $20,000 to expand programs to Latinos, Karen/Burmese and/or minority male youth. The deadline for applications is Oct. 14.
The new grant-making program, called “Bridging the Gap,” is intended to equip youth-serving organizations to provide more efficient and effective services to underserved populations in the local community.
In this first cycle of the new grant, preference will be given to organizations serving the Latino population.
Although the priority this year is for proposals impacting Latino youth, Youth Forward is open to proposals that advance the success of all underserved youth in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro community. Applications are available on the Youth Forward website: http://www.chcyouth.org/grantapplication
Youth Forward already offers smaller grants under its Youth Investment Fund. Organizations can request up to $5,000 for a project that addresses gaps in services for youth.
These grants provide Youth Forward the opportunity to support these organizations and their work, while creating the chance for groups to get funding for projects that affect the gaps in youth services. The deadline for the smaller grants is Oct. 7.
Founded in 2012, Youth Forward envisions a community where all young people are valued and supported to reach their potential. We have been supercharging nonprofits to create a seamless network of services that are easily accessible to Chapel Hill and Carrboro youth and their families.
We support these local organizations by distributing grant funds, providing technical assistance, and facilitating opportunities for collaboration.