Letters to the Editor

Letters: Readers discuss tracking women’s periods and Rep. Steve Watkins’ complaints

Only our business

What in the world is wrong with the state of Missouri? Its health director has kept a spreadsheet of the menstrual periods of women visiting Planned Parenthood clinics? (Oct. 31, 10A, “Missouri invades women’s privacy”) What an invasion of personal privacy.

Does he not have any other responsibilities? Our menstrual periods are none of his — or the state’s — business. Only women and their families have any right to interfere with family planning decisions. I’d say we need someone more interested in building and administering a strong and innovative public health department instead of an administrator interested in menstrual periods of young women. Missouri needs to get on the ball and act like a professional public health agency

.- Judith Sturgess, Independence

No thanks, Doc

The Sunday letter from a physician who won’t treat parents who refuse to vaccinate their children is typical of too many in the medical community: “We know what is best for you.” “My way or no way.” (14A)

Tell me, Doctor: If you tell patients they need to eat better and exercise, and they don’t do it, and there is no underlying medical cause for their obesity, are you not going to treat their diabetes and heart disease? There is not a single smoker who is unaware of the dangers of smoking. Will you refuse to treat their lung cancer, COPD or emphysema?

Medical facilities are the same. I get no smoking in the buildings and near entrances, but in the parking lots? I do it anyway in my vehicle (come get me, security), and I don’t drop my butts.

Vaping has let me reduce my smoking by more than half, but now the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention want to put a crimp in that, instead of concentrating on the real problem (e-juice from unreliable sources).

If my doctor were like this one, I would fire him.

- John Roesler, Grandview

Missed points

Rep. Steve Watkins’ Oct. 30 commentary decries Democrats holding closed hearings in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. (14A, “Democrats’ secretive idea of democracy”) Perhaps, as a freshman representative, Watkins is ignorant of House precedent. Former GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy employed the same closed hearing format when he led the Benghazi investigations.

Perhaps when Watkins crashed a hearing to which he was invited, he forgot that the SCIF, where it was conducted, is a secure room that prohibits cellphones, the press and pizza parties. Perhaps he is ignorant of his congressional responsibilities to provide oversight of the executive branch. Perhaps he didn’t read the recent court decision that a full House vote is not constitutionally required to begin impeachment inquiries.

Watkins alludes to his veteran status. Then why did he walk out of a hearing Tuesday regarding the needs of women veterans? Why did he refuse to condemn abandoning our Kurdish allies?

Watkins condemns House Democrats for not doing the people’s work: legislating. There are scores of bills passed by the House currently sitting on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s desk, on topics including voters’ rights and election security.

On live TV, Trump called for Ukraine and China to investigate his political rival. This action is against campaign finance law and is therefore criminal. Perhaps Watkins should begin thinking for himself and quit mouthing his party’s talking points.

- Joda Totten, Lawrence

This is the process

Rep Steve Watkins’ Wednesday guest column is a perfect example of how the Republican Party has allowed itself to be hijacked by President Donald Trump. To argue that the impeachment inquiry is “sham” and a “witch hunt” is to overlook the numerous words and deeds that demonstrate Trump’s lack of integrity and judgment.

Whether his actions justify impeachment and removal is yet to be determined. But to decry the “secretive” nature of the investigation overlooks the fact that past impeachment inquiries were, at this stage, held in private.

Once the formal House debate begins, the president’s supporters and defenders can ask their questions or cross-examine witnesses. Many American citizens, including this Kansan, want this process to be carried to its conclusion under the Constitution.

- Robert Schultz, Leawood

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