In The Sun's editorial "An intimate assault" (March 3), I learned that Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline is seeking the names and medical information of women and girls who have received abortions in Kansas. As a female, and as a nursing student at the Johns Hopkins University, I am completely horrified.
As part of the nursing school curriculum, we have been taught the sanctity of medical records over and over and over again. Every time I start a new clinical rotation, the privacy practices are stressed anew.
At this point, I feel as though I could recite the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) myself.
I thought it was overdone and a bit redundant to go through this issue every seven weeks or so. But now I see the wisdom in doing so.
I view people's medical records as sacrosanct, and I would never, ever think to violate a person's privacy by disclosing very personal medical information.
I can understand that Mr. Kline is against abortion. But to violate people's medical privacy to further one's political agenda is shameful.
Victims of abuse deserve day in court
Dan Rodricks column "Delayed justice is not to be denied" (March 3) was on the money.
What Mr. Rodricks reveals has also happened to many other victims, many of whom could not deal with the consequences of molestation until many years after the crime because they had done all they could to black out such a horrible experience from their lives.
I don't buy the Catholic Church's assertion that it has done all it can to help these victims of sexual abuse. And I don't buy the idea that compensating victims of sexual abuse by clergy would prevent the church from fulfilling its mission.
The church failed miserably by failing to prevent the initial abuse of children in its care, and it continues the abuse by trying to shirk its responsibility to the victims.
Children who were sexual abuse victims have had their childhood murdered. Murder has no statute of limitations.
Now is the time for the laws to change so that the victims may have their day in court.
Parents hold the key to children's success
Bill Gates' column declaring high school "obsolete" is as interesting for what it doesn't say as for what it says ("High schools are designed to fail," March 6). Left out of his analysis is any mention of the central role parents play in shaping their kids' experience in school and their expectations for the future.
While high school principals, teachers and guidance counselors have an influence on students' self-esteem and sense of direction, it's unfair to put the burden on them to make or break each child's future. They cannot reasonably be expected to undo in four years what parents have done - or not done - in the previous 14.
Parents need to be held accountable for nurturing, educating and motivating their children from birth to independence.
Studies show that what happens in early childhood is the largest single influence on success in grade school, high school and beyond.
If we really want to prepare our kids to be all they can be, the education system is not the only institution that needs reform - so does the family.
Robert J. Inlow
Why allow insults to rural residents?
So Kevin Cowherd doesn't like the Orioles' new hats. He's entitled to that opinion - even though most people I've asked think they're OK ("What is it about the O's and hats?" March 7).
But maybe I only asked "hicks and plowboys." Or perhaps it was because the "pro-rube crowd" he mentioned couldn't hear the question over the squishing of their "manure-caked boots" while they were hiking up their "bib overalls" and mumbling through the "piece of straw dangling" from their mouths.
I find it disgusting that The Sun sees fit to allow Mr. Cowherd to use such terms.
Were he to use such negative stereotypical terms to describe African-Americans, Jews, Hispanics, Muslims or homosexuals, the hue and cry would be deafening. But apparently The Sun and Mr. Cowherd feel that it is acceptable to use derogatory terms when writing about those less-urbane and supposedly less-cultured folks from outside the Beltway.
So Mr. Cowherd doesn't like the hats. Big deal.
Why does that mean he can denigrate people who moved here from the country or have roots there?
Steven P. Strohmier
Coed dormitories aren't like brothels
I was surprised and dismayed by Susan Reimer's column that quotes a Loyola College theology professor, Vigen Guroian, regarding coed dorms ("In essay, Loyola professor likens coed dorms to brothels," March 8). Mr. Guroian argues that cohabitation creates a brothel environment and peer pressure for women to engage in sexual activities. He cited female students who write in essays that they feel pressured into participating in casual sex and that coed dorms contribute to this. I think this is ludicrous.