I have been astounded at the current Republican “war on women” that has been occurring in various states and now on a national level.

The most recent example of this war is the proposed bill by U.S. Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., that would restrict the abortion options of women in the District of Columbia.

What I found further astounding is the apparent lack of any response on the part of Democratic legislators to this war.

I am wondering why there have been no laws proposed requiring men to have prostate exams before being able to purchase Viagra or Cialis, or why there is no consideration of laws requiring all men aged 16 to 35 to carry condoms rather than having unprotected sex that might lead to the need for an abortion.

It strikes me that none of the problem pregnancies for which women may seek abortions are the product of virgin conceptions. There are men involved. Why are no politicians addressing that aspect of what pregnancy involves? And I further wonder how this war on women is related to the Republican emphasis on the need for more jobs in this country, except for increasing the need for additional ob/gyn jobs.

William J. Leffler II


Leading feminists and President Obama are opposing a Republican effort to ban gender-selecting abortions. This practice involves a pregnant woman deciding that she will only allow the child to be born if it is a particular gender.  

Cases of gender-selecting abortions are overwhelmingly about parents who want boys, not girls. This occurs in India, China and other places where boys will carry on the family name as well as care for parents in their old age.

Girls will depart their birth family and will then serve their husband’s family. Self-interest makes a boy more useful to his parents.  

Several officials from Planned Parenthood were recently caught on video conniving with mothers to abort their babies if they developed female sexual characteristics in the womb. While these employees were disciplined or fired, their attitude seems to convey institutional support for abortion under any circumstances.

In the same week that Obama won endorsement by Planned Parenthood, he and congressional Democrats vigorously campaigned against any restriction on abortion.

How could anyone who is genuinely interested in the well-being of women support Obama or the feminists ever again? How could anyone give credence to people who mouth platitudes about their support of women while simultaneously allowing countless baby girls to die, just because they were female?  

Obama and the feminists are not merely engaged in hypocrisy. In the name of their blind support for abortion, they are actively encouraging eugenics. This willingness to cheapen human life in service to ideology is a step onto a road that in the 1930s and 1940s led to genocide. People of all political convictions must look clearly at this issue and say, “No! Never again!”

Ralph K. Ginorio


New Dechaine trial will allow justice to be done

I have just read the article “In 23 years, 2,000 exonerations” in The Portland Press Herald (May 21). To me, the article screams out, “Look closely at the Dennis Dechaine case.”

The article says, “there’s usually someone to blame for the underlying tragedy, often more than one person, and the common culprits include defense lawyers as well as police officers, prosecutors and judges. In many cases, everybody involved has egg on their face.”

For those in Maine who have been following the Dechaine case, there can be little doubt that there is plenty of egg to go around.

When Judge Carl Bradford hears testimony at retrial hearings for Dechaine in June, he can do the right thing by ordering a new trial for Dechaine. DNA evidence excludes Dechaine as the perpetrator. (Editor’s note: The hearing concluded Friday.)

If a jury hears all the evidence and finds Dechaine guilty, Bradford will know he has done the right thing and the case is closed.

If a jury finds Dechaine not guilty, Bradford can breathe easy knowing that at last this chapter of the case is closed, and that justice survives in Maine.

Perhaps then the real killer will be found and removed from the streets.

Susan Pastore


If there are some 2,000 cases where someone was wrongfully convicted, there is an equal number of criminals who escaped prosecution.

Larz Neilson

East Boothbay

Death should prompt look at alcohol abuse

I am sincerely sorry for the family and friends of Nathan Bihlmaier, the promising Harvard student who recently died in Portland Harbor. The official cause of death is given as accidental drowning, but it seems clear that intoxication was the cause of the accidental drowning.

Rather than pointing fingers at who might be responsible, let’s look more closely at what caused this death: intoxication.

Not a week goes by that we don’t read of one of our teenagers or college students dying because of intoxication, falling out a window or killing their friends because they were intoxicated while driving — or people of any age getting into bar fights and killing or maiming each other, to say nothing of endless domestic abuse fueled by intoxication.

Alcohol is our legal drug, and it is evident that it is a deadly drug. Its use is accepted at every level in our society, from the most well-educated and affluent to the least.

Many people are unable or unwilling to stop drinking once they begin. They are sometimes labeled alcoholics, but not usually until they have had years of damaging experiences resulting from using alcohol. Others simply don’t know how or when to stop. “Celebration” is synonymous in our society with drinking alcohol.

I’m not celebrating today, nor will I be any time soon. I’m deeply saddened by Mr. Bihlmaier’s untimely and unnecessary passing and equally by every single death in our community, past, present and to come, that has as its root cause the overconsumption of alcohol.

Please either drink responsibly, for your own safety and that of others, or do not drink at all. It is possible, though not popular, to celebrate without alcohol. Try it, be different! And when you do, you will have more reasons to celebrate in your life than many who choose to drink.

Pat Walsh

Old Orchard Beach

Longtime Democrat is voting for Romney

Imagine having to go back 40-some years to find something bad about Mitt Romney. Being the mother of five now-adult males, I can imagine any one of them doing the same and regretting the act as they matured.

I am a longtime Democrat but have decided to vote for Romney. I believe he may get this country back on the map, and President Obama has failed in doing anything he promised.

Norma Stanley

South Portland