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Making progress

Columnist Kathleen Parker wrote about “Using imagination to end abortion” (June 11). I believe she is on the right track. A little more than 20 years ago, I visited the Netherlands to study birth and abortion rates, then and now among the lowest in the world. The abortion rate in the Netherlands was 5.5/1,000 women, although there were no restrictions. At that time, the rate in the United States was 26/1,000 women. I talked with health care providers as well as ordinary citizens to find out what they believed was the cause of this discrepancy.

The Dutch considered the availability of contraceptives and family planning education, beginning in the early grades and continuing through high school, was a major reason. There are mass media campaigns that focus on protective sexual behaviors. Rather than encouraging teen sexual behavior, the average age of sexual initiation is two years later in the Netherlands than in the U.S.

In subsequent years, rates in the United States have steadily decreased by 26% to historic lows in 2015, the most recent year reported by the Centers for Disease Control. The rate was 11.8 per 1,000 women. We are making progress.

E.J. Dionne (“We need a different abortion dialogue,” May 23) cites conservative writer Johnathan Last: “You don’t get rid of [abortion] by outlawing [it].” But comprehensive education and access to birth control for both men and women can make a difference as the Dutch data show and continuing improvement in the United States demonstrates.

Mary Lou Moore

Winston-Salem

Trump beholden

In saying that he’d accept information from foreign governments, President Trump just invited North Korea, Russia, China and any other country interested to meddle in the 2020 election. I always thought Americans should elect presidents, not foreigners.

He doesn’t seem to realize that accepting such help would make him beholden to foreign countries. Maybe that’s because of his inflated opinion of himself. Maybe he’s so used to stabbing business associates in the back and refusing to pay workers he’s hired that he thinks he can do the same to foreign countries.

The only things worse than Trump right now are the nervous Democrats who are too frightened to start impeachment proceedings. “Country is more important than party,” they say. OK, prove it. Impeach him.

Rodney Page

Winston-Salem

Peaceful profession

I am responding to June 15 letter “Special people.”

The writer saying, “What makes those people special? I am morally opposed to war, yet I am still required to pay for it. How do you square that?” is comparing apples to oranges.

I have served over 36 years with our military. The majority of us professionals are also morally opposed to war. There was a sign outside the gate of every SAC base that stated: “Peace is our profession.” We do not want to die in a war, but have volunteered to risk our lives to defend her right to express her opinion and other freedoms that she enjoys. She is only required to help pay for this defense, even if it involves war.

On the other hand, sex was established by nature for the reproduction of our species. If people voluntarily participate in sex for recreation and do not want to conceive children, then the participants should use birth control, just as Kathleen Parker stated (“Using imagination to end abortion,” June 11). Why should we “special people” be forced to pay for the unwanted consequences (abortions) of other peoples’ recreation?

We are “special” because we have moral values as opposed to liberals, who seem to have none.

Arza D. Patterson

Boonville

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