In defense of Planned Parenthood

It's terribly wrong to withhold $4.75 million in breast-cancer funding to the Susan G. Komen Organization because of their support of Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood was started in the early 1900s by Margaret Sanger, a nurse whose mother died at age 50 after having 18 pregnancies. Women often died then from ill-advised pregnancies and lack of birth control.

It's wrong to judge Planned Parenthood for callous remarks made by one physician. I nursed in Grady Hospital in Atlanta and know how some doctors talk -- when taken out of context it can sound terrible. The infamous video tries to make it look like crimes are being committed. Selling body parts is punishable by 10 years in jail and a $500,000 fine -- has anyone been found guilty, or are they just being accused?

Liver transplants save lives; tissue for research may help cure MS, Alzheimer's or prostate cancer. You may recover from a stroke one day because of research using otherwise "to-be-discarded" fetal tissue.

Here’s how Planned Parenthood spends its money: 42 percent STIs/STDs, 34 percent contraception, 11 percent other female services, 9 percent cancer screening, 3 percent abortions (not federal funds), 1 percent other. Here’s who goes there: 79 percent are women who have an income of around $18,500 or less. (Source: Planned Parenthood and Georgia Public Broadcasting.)

Abortion should be safe and legal. It could be rare if men and women were responsible.

Margaret Wright, RN (retired)

Auburn

‘Hard to be thankful for Alabama’

I grew up being thankful for Alabama. I lived in Kentucky at the time, and however bad things were there, we could count on Alabama being worse. Then in 1957 I found myself moving to Alabama. My husband took a 50 percent pay cut to leave the chemical industry for a teaching job at Auburn University. By the time my older children were in school, I, too, was teaching at Auburn, and together we made almost as much as he had made in industry.

We loved teaching, and for all the frustrations that go along with it, we both enjoyed our more than 30 years (each) teaching at AU. And Auburn is a good place to live. But it is hard to be thankful for Alabama when you consider the behavior of our current Legislature.

I have often said that many of Alabama’s troubles stem from the fact that so many Alabamians have never lived anywhere else. If you have paid state income tax in New York or property taxes in Massachusetts as I have, you would not consider Alabama taxes excessive. Of course, in those states and nearly all the others, you would not pay sales tax on groceries.

Now the Legislature, too beholden to a ridiculous no-tax pledge and a tiny minority of wealthy people in the state to raise any taxes or fix income taxes on a graduated scale, seeks to cut school funding and Medicaid, having already robbed public schools of funds to finance private schools on the pretense of giving students in poor schools a choice.

Maybe I should go to live near a son in Kansas or a daughter in New Jersey. What a choice!

Charlotte Ward

Auburn

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