Letters to the Editor

5/19 Letters: Conservative state legislatures have overstepped on abortion

On abortion, it isn’t up to state

Regarding “As abortion bills advance nationwide, where does NC’s ‘born alive’ bill stand? (May 15):

What is happening around the country in conservative led legislatures is appalling.

The choice to bring life into this world is not a decision that rests with the state, but rather it is for the individual to decide.

It is a gratuitous assault on individual liberty by government whereby they claim the sanctity of life as the beneficiary of their usurpation. The inception of life is not determined by a political process.

The legislatures of the states now seeking to pass bills against abortions – and the legislatures that have done so already – have no right to enshrine their so-called moral beliefs into law at the expense of the living.

Joshua Peters, Cary

Abortion: NCGA, let women decide

Historic legal battles in the last 100 years were fought and won in the advancement of women’s rights.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, sexual harassment laws, divorce and child support laws, and even voting rights are among the changes in civil law that legally protected women from discriminatory attitudes.

Women possess the wisdom to make choices. Who to consult in making these choices is also a woman’s right and prerogative.

Pro-choice is just that – that a woman is trusted to make the right decisions for herself based on her beliefs and values regarding all aspects of her life.

I certainly hope our General Assembly will trust women to make their own decisions regarding the legal preservation of reproductive rights.

Dr. Elizabeth Davis Snow, Wilmington

Let’s not pretend on Liam’s story

Regarding the five-part series about Liam Jones, a trans-man who birthed a baby (May 10-15):

It is absurd to write that “Liam challenges the assumption that only women give birth.”

It is not an assumption – it is biology, it is science.

It may make sense to be empathetic towards Liam, but it is socially irresponsible to pretend that the emperor is not naked.

Gene A. Novak, Henderson

What Trump’s plaque would say

The May 16 headline “Trump to overhaul plan for legal immigration system” prompts thoughts on how he would change the wording on the plaque in New York Harbor.

The words on the nation’s Statue of Liberty have always been: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” -Poet Emma Lazarus.

The wording now being suggested: “Give me your skilled professionals, your rich, your well educated classes, preferably white European technicians, yearning for a higher salary. Send these, the English speaking crème de la crème to me. As for the rest: We’re full. There’s no longer a lamp beside our narrow door.” -President Donald Trump.

Joe Moran, Durham

Home sharing boosts economy

I write in response to recent coverage of the Raleigh home sharing debate.

My wife and I began sharing our home as a short-term rental two years ago. As a touring musician, home sharing allowed us to take full financial advantage of our property while on the road, and the extra income gave us the fiscal stability to allow my wife to change careers.

Guests feed into our local economy, strengthen tourism, and act on our tips to patronize local small business.

Home sharing generates economic growth for Raleigh. The home-stay ordinance under consideration by the City Council would needlessly destroy this revenue stream for many of us.

Council should make the proposal more inclusive, allow all residents to share their homes, and empower this important component of Raleigh’s tourism economy.

Blake Christiana, Raleigh

Speak out against Graham, Falwell

For some of us raised many years ago, our parents taught us as children that when you cannot say something nice about a person, say nothing at all.

However, parents of that era did not know the likes of two self-appointed spokesmen for Christianity – Franklin Graham and Jerry Falwell Jr. –who have perilously misled many of our faithful folks down a dishonest and divisive dark disorder known as narcissism.

If one really cares, one should, ask him or herself how they can follow such false and vile leadership as Trumpism, so ill-gotten and profanely represented.

If a reader is offended by this writer’s departure from the Biblical maxim of “judge not” I would contend that Jesus and others made many moral judgments to help us know the difference between right and wrong.

So. Stand up and speak America! This may be your last chance, as 2020 is fast approaching.

Dr. Ted Young, Raleigh

Inflated alcohol data helps no one

As an alcohol researcher, the recent headlines that an estimated 4,000 people in North Carolina died from alcohol-related causes caught my attention.

It was interesting that this new report was released as the N.C. legislature is considering bills that would allow residents and tourists to more easily purchase alcohol products, including on Sundays.

Things became more transparent when I read the “Easing alcohol access in NC will raise risks” (May 9 Opinion), which pointed to the new Department of Health alcohol-related death data and dashboard as a reason for legislators to vote against the alcohol measures.

In North Carolina, significant progress has been made in reducing alcohol abuse. Alcohol use disorders among adults are at historic lows and our young people are making better decisions too.

Underage drinking rates throughout the state are also at all-time lows.

This progress should be reported.

Grossly inflated data, politically motivated or not, does our citizens a disservice.

To be effective, public policy should be based on sound science, not exaggerated statistics.

Otherwise, we risk diverting important resources and our focus from many of the very real health epidemics – from obesity, diabetes and opioid abuse – that North Carolinians are facing.

David J. Hanson, Chapel Hill

I see a swamp trip in my future

Regarding “NC swamp researcher finds tree older than Christianity,” (May 14):

Thanks for the fine article by Jack Horan on the ancient bald cypress trees right in our backyard.

Three Sisters Swamp in Bladen County sounds great for a vicarious adventure.

Mike Gallagher, Durham