New proposed rule threat to women’s health

If implemented, the new rule proposed by the federal Health and Human Services Department concerning Title X funding would prohibit any clinic or medical facility that counsels about or refers patients for abortions from obtaining Title X funds. As a result, millions of low-income women and men would be deprived of reproductive health care.

As a member of the medical community, I am outraged. After years of medical study so that we physicians can provide the best health care we know how, the threat that the government will interfere in the cherished doctor-patient relationship is frightening The law of the land supports safe and legal abortion.

If safe abortions are not available, desperate women will seek abortions from untrained practitioners. In the 1960s, prior to Roe v Wade, I was a medical student and I will never forget the “septic” abortion ward in a local hospital. Wards were different from the way they are now. The ward was a wide-open room with beds lined from one end to the other. As a colleague of mine, Dr. David Bingham, wrote “when we made rounds, there was a whole ward full of (septic abortion) patients with varying degrees of infection and hemorrhage, complications from quacks, beatings, poisonings, and potions. Most of these patients would be left sterile, some would not survive, and all survivors would be traumatized.”

Not only physicians, but all citizens need to contact the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to oppose the “gag rule” and to demand that the government not interfere with the right to obtain optimal medical care, with the right to privacy and with the doctor-patient relationship.

Dr. Norma Dreyfus, Arrowsic

The Brunswick Town Council approved a resolution to support a Carbon Fee and Dividend on June 4. This idea is sweeping the nation and is being put forward by the nonpartisan Citizens Climate Lobby. Dodie Jones, a co-leader of the Brunswick-Bath Chapter of the CCL, presented the resolution which says that “a fee will be levied at the extraction point of fossil fuels or port of entry into the US with all monies returned to households as a dividend.” Eighteen CCL members were in the audience and several spoke in support of the resolution. Portland and Bangor have passed similar resolutions.

After a spirited and generally favorable discussion, the council passed the resolution unanimously. This resolution is part of a grass-roots movement across the nation as citizens realize they need to demand that our politicians face the climate change issue. The Carbon Fee and Dividend approach follows recognized economic principles. With this fee the price of carbon based fuels will rise and people will gradually change to clean energy sources. The dividend ,which the government will return monthly to citizens,will help them afford the higher price of carbon based fuels until they can change to cleaner sources. We appreciate the Brunswick Town Council supporting this important resolution and hope that Sen. Collins, Sen. King, Rep. Pingree and Rep. Poliquin will take note of their position.

Nancy Hasenfus, Brunswick