Abortion, Russia, Missouri amenities

03/14/2014 5:13 PM

03/14/2014 5:13 PM

Hurting women

A proposed 72-hour abortion waiting period would have the de facto effect of ending access to safe and legal abortion for a huge percentage of women in Missouri.

Like most laws designed by our Republican-dominated legislature, it would disproportionally affect the poorest and most vulnerable among us.

The only legal abortion clinic in the state is in St. Louis, which is a four or five-hour drive from some portions of the state. These women are supposed to gather the money to drive there and back, wait 72 hours, and do it again?

Holidays and weekends don’t count toward the 72-hour waiting requirement because we all know women can’t actually think for themselves during the weekend.

This is not an insurmountable problem for wealthy women who can afford to take days off work and stay in a hotel for a few days. For a woman on minimum wage, this would do nothing but force her to consider taking drastic measures and risk having an unsafe abortion.

Let’s call this what it is — a transparent attempt by a legislature dominated by males to impose its moral will on women in Missouri.

Peter Gardner

Lee’s Summit Changing language

If we use the description “same gender” instead of “same sex,” do you think it would help decrease the emotion around this topic? I do.

Then maybe we could generate more light than heat on fair-treatment issues. Can we please start now, here in Kansas City, in this newspaper?

Nancy McDowell

Overland Park Russia: 2008, now

Conservative columnists, commentators and talking heads have been quick to blame President Barack Obama for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s push into Crimea.

In 2008, a very similar scenario occurred when Russian forces invaded Georgia. Yet the Putin-ordered move into Georgia failed to spark the severe rhetoric that has been the recent conservative agenda regarding Ukraine.

Three days after Russia entered Georgia, Charles Krauthammer insisted there was nothing then-President George W. Bush could do. The situation was beyond Bush’s control. Bill O’Reilly agreed, and the Heritage Foundation spokesman said, “Russia is a tough nut to crack.”

To add complications, U.S. corporate interests have serious investments in Russia and have been lobbying the White House to limit sanctions. They feel their business interests are in jeopardy. Those same businesses just a year ago lobbied to remove trade restrictions on Russia.

Odd, no senator or house member mentions that.

Ken Strange

Kansas City Often unseen allies

Years ago, I had a pinochle buddy named Mary. She didn’t share much about her life but was upbeat and positive, always with her baseball cap on.

One day I received a call from a woman who said Mary had died suddenly with no family. I was asked to do a service for her.

The woman explained that Mary was often banned from both women’s and men’s restrooms — a small example of the struggles she went through (2-9, A1, “I am a girl”). I asked who would be at the memorial.

“Probably just you and me,” the woman replied.

I put out a notice in case anyone would wonder where the person with the baseball cap had gone. On the day of the service, the chapel was standing room only. We had to leave the doors open so people in the hallway could hear.

Someone said, “I thought I was Mary’s only friend, but I guess I was wrong.” Another said, “A wounded sparrow can recognize another wounded sparrow. That would be us.”

How lucky I was to know that beautiful person under a baseball cap. Thanks for helping get this message out and allowing a few wounded sparrows to help the rest of us see their beauty.

Paul Budd

Lee’s Summit Missouri amenities

Many Kansas residents can look down their noses at Kansas City’s snowy streets and congratulate themselves for living in snowplowed Johnson County. But where do Kansans go for a National Football League or Major League Baseball game or a major airport?

Missouri. I would think before I’d brag if I were you.

Ellen Bigge

Lee’s Summit Capitalism in U.S.

There were many smiles and occasional tears while we started two companies during the past 48 years. To witness from scratch what the free enterprise system can do was a blessing and honor, understood by too few.

Why is it so difficult to comprehend our great economic system, which we all should defend? There are overwhelming benefits from capitalistic success, such as profits, which are the engine powering economic zest.

So come on, America. Stand up for the business climate that made this country great.

We had better do it now before it’s too late.

Bob Cook

Mission Hills Convenience matters

I returned from a trip to New York on Sunday, after waiting 40 minutes in a centralized security line at the Newark, N.J. airport, to read The Star’s front-page article, “The why of KCI,” touting “security concerns” at Kansas City International Airport.

What good are additional shops and restaurants if you are sprinting to catch your plane as I did in Newark?

Personally, I’m tired of hearing about the “efficiency” of centralized security screening stations. They certainly aren’t efficient for passengers.

Let’s get priorities straight as the conversation about future options for KCI moves forward. Convenience for passengers should remain the No. 1 concern.

John Rury

Lawrence Gun responsibility

Ownership of a gun carries with it a responsibility to keep it out of the hands of those who could use it to accidentally or intentionally harm themselves or others.

If a gun that is not locked away falls into the hands of someone who uses it in a shooting, shouldn’t the gun owner face legal consequences?

Many of the tragedies that have become common might have been prevented by enforcing strict legal requirements that guns must be locked up with only the lawful owner having access to them.

Jeff Greenbaum

Kansas City Gun, vehicle deaths

Facts are tricky things. The murder rate from guns continues to decline, as it has since the mid-1990s.

Most major cities have seen gun violence plummet, although there are huge exceptions. The vast majority of murders are committed with handguns by people the victims knew.

Fewer than half of murder victims are white. The overwhelming majority of whites who are murdered are killed by whites.

The overwhelming majority of black murderers’ victims are black. Only a small percentage of all murders are committed in conjunction with theft.

Deaths from automobiles are sharply increasing. Getting killed by a car is much more likely than being killed by a gun, especially in rural areas.

When you get behind the wheel, don’t be loaded.

Earl Brigham

Sugar Creek Veteran’s distress

My dad was diagnosed with bone cancer six months ago. He’s 81 years old. Veterans Affairs said he needs to have chemotherapy.

But VA officials rejected him twice for the medicine. The medicine would cost him $2,000 a month without help from the VA. He can’t afford it without the VA’s help.

He served during the Korean War. The United States may have needed him then, but now the country couldn’t care less about him. Bone cancer causes a very painful, slow death.

David Strahan

Bates City, Mo. Faults of Congress

Former secretary of defense Robert Gates, who served in the Bush and Obama administrations, describes most members of Congress as uncivil and incompetent at fulfilling their responsibilities.

They were hypocritical, egotistical, thin-skinned and prone to putting themselves and their re-elections before the best interests of the country.

I sure do miss my past congressman, Ike Skelton.

Virgil Koechner

Tipton, Mo.

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