Letters to the Editor

Letters: Readers discuss abortion politics, Lincoln students and heavy semi damage

Women the targets

The abortion debate rages on, and the focus is exclusively on the choices pregnant women make. A woman’s decision can be extremely difficult when considering aspects of the pregnancy (rape or health issues, for example) and her life situation.

But women don’t get pregnant without sperm from men. In addition, some men get multiple women pregnant.

Consequently, I am bewildered why there is not as much outrage about the lack of research on contraceptive options for men so they can take more responsibility to prevent pregnancies.

But then I realize that most legislatures are made up predominantly of men. In this context, women are often viewed as the evil ones while men are the valiant crusaders for the unborn babies, conveniently ignoring the fact that they are the initial cause of the “problem” — literally.

Getting sexually active men on contraceptives to prevent pregnancies seems an obvious thing to do. But why would they want to change what they do when they can put all the blame on women? We certainly wouldn’t want to legislate what men do with their bodies.

Marilyn Belwood

Marshall, Missouri

We settled this

When will our leaders understand and learn? If a woman does or does not have an abortion:

▪  It is the business of only her and her significant other.

▪  It will have no effect on the important issues in this country: the economy, giving everyone better health care, jobs, wages, immigration reform — you know, the things our government should be working on.

I am 69 years old, and I thought this subject was settled back in the 1970s.

Enough is enough. The government needs to move on to more important issues.

Marcia Maddox

Kansas City

Please rethink

I hope Gov. Mike Parson, state Rep. Vic Allred and state Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer will reconsider the legislation that passed the state Senate at 3 a.m. Thursday.

As a mom who is about to send away a college freshman, I fear for her, given the crisis of sexual assault on college campuses. My daughter is studying speech and language pathology to work with autistic kids like her brother — whose life was changed by a speech-language pathologist.

Should my daughter fall victim to an assault that leaves her pregnant, not only could her future be affected, but it could potentially prevent her from completing school and filling a vital role for kids with different abilities.

There is an empathy gap in passing legislation to protect fetuses when we have children who go hungry and citizens who become bankrupt from the staggering costs of health care. Just in the last year, I have donated to our wealthy school district to help buy food backpacks for impoverished students and to help pay for the lunches of students who find themselves with negative balances in their cafeteria accounts. I am, in effect, subsidizing a woefully inadequate safety net.

My hope is that compassion for those who will be adversely affected will win and that cooler heads will prevail.

Mikki Johnston

Platte City

Voices left out

As a resident of Missouri, I strongly oppose the proposed abortion bill passed by the Missouri Senate early Thursday morning. This bill does not promote life, but would instead result in many unsafe abortions and force victims of rape to carry the child of their rapist without any say about whether they want to have a child.

This is an extremely dangerous proposal for women across the state of Missouri. If we want to truly protect children and promote life, we should make health care more affordable. Provide more funding for education and provide more affordable childcare.

This bill would impact marginalized women and children the most. It is an attack on our health and rights as women.

Ashley Guenther


Inspiring students

The front-page story May 12 about Lincoln College Preparatory Academy brought back memories of the community’s concerns in the 1980s. (“Historically black Lincoln Prep is evolving. But is the change progress or loss?”)

I taught at Lincoln from 1967 to 1999. We made a video — a student council production — that interviewed the most famous people who had attended Lincoln. I found those students very inspiring.

Christine Ghrist


Heavy tolls

I frequently see letters complaining about the state of our highways, bridges and streets. Two culprits damage our roadways the most: weather and weight.

Weather extremes coming in short periods cause the roads to expand and contract and allow water into the crevices. When this freezes with nowhere to go, the road cracks and then begins the process of deterioration.

As a retired lieutenant with the Missouri State Highway Patrol, I know that weight is something we can control. Before the early 1980s, the maximum gross weight of trucks was 73,280 pounds. The Reagan administration decided that Missouri was interfering with interstate commerce because other states followed the federal limit of 80,000 pounds, and it forced us to expand our weight limits. This was a complicated change and involved other changes that benefited the trucking industry at the expense of our roads.

Another change you may see but don’t notice often is what is known as bridge weight. It is a vehicle’s allowable weight based on the distance from the front axle to the back. So when you see a truck with a set of wheels at the rear with no obvious purpose, it is there to allow the truck to carry more weight.

James Ripley

Lee’s Summit