Letters to the Editor

Letters: Readers discuss abortion access, girls wearing leggings and Diane Stafford

Listen to us

Abortion access has been under constant attack in Missouri, most recently during a seven-week special session called by Gov. Eric Greitens to further restrict access to reproductive health care.

As the attacks on abortion nationally and statewide have continued, the Democratic Party responded by stating there would not be a litmus test on abortion when supporting candidates. The Kansas City Star published a column by Steve Kraske, who agreed this was politically wise. (Aug. 25, 13A, “Missouri Democrats can’t afford to impose abortion litmus test”)

Endorsing anti-choice candidates, however, is a losing issue for women and families across Missouri. Being able to access abortion means being able to access health care. A litmus test must be imposed to make sure those elected will protect women and families in need of all reproductive health care.

The argument used throughout this column that abortion is not a winnable issue is trite. Studies show that seven in 10 Americans support safe, legal access to abortion, regardless of whether in a red or blue state.

As a party that has fought for Medicaid expansion and has defended the Affordable Care Act, the Democratic Party cannot leave behind reproductive freedom of women and families. Women, after all, are part of the party’s base, and we are tired of being thrown under the bus.

Marsha Lerenberg

Kansas City

Gathering together

Driving around Kansas City, one sees signs for the upcoming Irish Fest. Given the recent publicity about racist and separatist groups, the signs are a nice reminder that having pride in and loyalty to one’s ethnic (and racial) group is also a part of America.

Sociologists have long recognized that such feelings of belonging help all types of groups develop and maintain their cultures.

So while America has definitely become more ethnically and racially diverse with an accompanying need to understand and value such diversity, there still is a place, perhaps even a need, for some level of group identity and solidarity.

Patrick Sirridge


If the truth hurts …

The principal of a high school spoke out on girls wearing leggings as pants, when they are better worn as an accessory, such as with dresses. Now a maelstrom has erupted regarding this principal saying that wearing leggings makes one look “fat.” (Aug. 26, 7A, “Leggings make girls bigger than size 2 look ‘fat,’ principal reportedly tells students”)

Well, I agree with the principal and her courage to speak the truth. Here we have an example of the emperor’s new clothes, when a small boy told the truth as he saw it.

Sometimes the truth may hurt but also wakes us all up to what is reality.

Pat Binda

Overland Park

Protest presence

The Three Percenters, a group that has shown up at recent protests, claim they have been there to protect people and property. This is nonsense.

Are they there to protect property and the general population from protesters? This is completely unnecessary because the police have deployed enough resources — police on ATVs and horses on the scene, as well as several dozen officers nearby in reserve — at recent demonstrations to quickly overwhelm the protesters if they break the law.

They certainly aren’t protecting the protesters from the police. If they tried they would be seriously outgunned.

Some of these people have carried assault rifles. There is no way these rifles could be fired in a city park without serious risk of hitting a passing car or smashing into a nearby apartment. These weapons are designed to kill the enemy at several hundred yards on the battlefield.

The Three Percenters are present to intimidate the protesters in their right to free speech.

This is not a legitimate exercise of the Second Amendment.

David Anderson

Kansas City

Quality journalism

Diane Stafford’s retirement from The Kansas City Star is a loss for those of us who frequently read her Sunday Careers column. (Aug. 27, 1G, “You are more than what you do”)

Her work exemplified and contributed to what Star founder William Rockhill Nelson’s vision was for his news medium — “A Paper for the People.”

Many men and women who spend a large portion of their adult lives in one or more jobs understand and appreciate the wisdom, intelligence, honesty, perspective, advice, encouragement and hope she gave to her readers.

She truly added value to all workers who navigate this very important aspect of life.

Russ Klement

Lee’s Summit