The Republicans representing the pro-life movement are once again trying to outlaw a woman’s right to an abortion. I would respect these Republicans’ view more if their interest was not only to stop abortion, but truly to help the very alive and suffering children in our country.

Where are they when women with no health care become pregnant and cannot afford their medical bills? Where are they when these families lose their jobs and cannot afford to eat or pay rent?

Where are they when young mothers need help learning to care for their new babies, or need day care so they can work to support them? Where are they when children must attend derelict schools?

Where are they while children are growing up in unsafe streets? What genuine helpful alternatives have they put forth?

If this country wants to stop abortions, it needs to demonstrate it really cares about all its children.

Give women a meaningful helping hand toward a real alternative; don’t just judge them for desperately getting an abortion. And don’t eliminate all the programs that attempt to offer a helping hand to mothers and their living children. Now that would be pro-life.

Valerie Razsa



Opponents of abortion consistently and persistently overlook the most obvious and most effective way of reducing the number of abortions performed: preventing unwanted pregnancy. No woman ever sought an abortion without first finding herself with a pregnancy she did not want or might not survive.

If the activists truly want to reduce the incidence of abortion, they should direct their efforts away from harassing women stuck in a no-win situation and apply their considerable energy and resources more constructively toward two goals:

• First, foster healthy, respectful attitudes toward relationships, sex and childbearing among both men and women. Don’t forget the invisible man — the father — behind every abortion performed.

• Second, ensure that maturing youngsters have a sobering appreciation of the awesome potential they possess, and equip them with the biological knowledge and the sound decision-making skills they need to keep the reproductive process under control.

Solve the problem of unwanted pregnancy and the entire abortion issue — and lots of others — will all but disappear with it. Continue to flail away at just one side effect of unwanted pregnancy and the righteous battles will continue forever.

E.L. Clopton



Abortion is a topic that has caused a lot of conflict and grief in recent years. On one side you have pro-choice, those who advocate for what they call “the right to choose.” Then you have pro-life, the “even the unborn are still human” half of this constant debate.

Both sides have a solid, unwavering conviction that they are right. In truth, they both prove to have excellent arguments for their opinion. I say opinion because in the end, that is all that it is.

Let me present to you two stories, both fictional but also feasible.

Patient A is addicted to prescription painkillers; she parties hard and has had two previous abortions. Should this woman be allowed to have a third? No. Nor should she be allowed to raise the child.

Now we can look at Patient B. Patient B is 16 years old, an honor roll student and a volunteer at the homeless shelter. One night her boyfriend doesn’t listen to the word “no” and guess what — she gets pregnant. Should she be allowed to abort? Certainly, but she should also be encouraged to follow through with whatever her choice is.

The point I’m trying to make is not pro-choice or pro-life — it’s closer to the middle. In some cases, carrying the child to term would be dangerous to the mother or the baby. However, if a woman makes a habit of getting pregnant and then aborting, she is nothing but a heartless murderer.

This is my opinion — it doesn’t matter to me what others think of it. That is also my right. In the end it comes down to how you express your opinion. Remember that the right to choose should be a privilege. That way you can’t abuse it.

Javan Huntley



Flying Confederate flag only makes matters worse


I noticed a Confederate flag flying in Portland. This flag was flown for four years as the flag of an actual country, and for an additional 146 years in denial that the country was on the wrong side of history.

I have to wonder if its appearance is somehow in response to the increasing number of minorities in our community. Other cities in the United States more diverse than ours often seem to be more divided, and I know I certainly don’t want to see Portland mirror their social ills.

Some people thus fear additional diversity, but that is not in their control. What is in our control is how we respond to it.

Prejudice in other diverse communities has exacerbated the challenges they face. Being relatively homogenous, Maine has a golden opportunity to work with a clean slate. Change is inevitable, but change is also relative, and by recognizing this we will have more power to stay the same in the ways that really matter.

Without fear and mistrust of those who seem different, it will be easier to maintain a community of one made out of many, where whites too can still feel safe and at home.

I would like to say this to the owner of that flag: Whatever negative trends you may sense in our community, I fear that your response could only make matters worse. Please take it down.

Paul Parsons



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