November 13, 2008

Don't doctors deserve a choice on abortion?

The acerbic editorial "Bush rules" (Nov. 11) ironically accuses the Bush administration of attacking "personal rights" and then lambastes the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for proposing a regulation to protect the civil rights of health care professionals.

The Baltimore Sun protests "extending the right to refuse to participate in an abortion to include an array of health care workers." Which medical professionals does the paper deem unworthy of civil rights so that they should be forced to violate their conscience and the Hippocratic Oath?

Thankfully, shortly after the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade wrested decision-making control from the states and the people, a prescient Congress began passing laws to prevent coercion and discrimination against health care professionals on both sides of the abortion debate. Yet three major civil rights laws have never been implemented. Meanwhile, "pro choice" advocates, provoked by the fact that the vast majority of physicians refuse to perform abortions, have resorted to seeking to require participation in abortion.

A recent official statement of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists not only requires that physicians perform or refer for abortions but also demands that pro-life physicians relocate in order to refer patients to nearby abortion clinics. Our members report losing jobs and promotions over their commitment to life-affirming standards. The proposed HHS regulation is urgently needed to protect compassionate and conscientious physicians who are simply extending the life-affirming ethic and patient protections of the Hippocratic Oath.

Jonathan Imbody, Washington

The writer is vice president for government relations of the Christian Medical Association.

Criticism of Bush displays hypocrisy

Regarding the editorial "Bush rules" (Nov. 11), funny, but I don't recall The Baltimore Sun emitting one peep of protest when Bill Clinton, in the waning months of his tenure, pulled exactly the same stunt by passing all kinds of rules designed to tie the hands of his successor.

Is there no end to the liberal Democrat hypocrisy?

Dick Oles, Pasadena

An honorable calling for first lady Obama

I am writing in response to the letter concerning Michelle Obama's role ("Why put limitations on first lady Obama?" Nov. 10). The reason Mrs. Obama should not try to make policy is that she was not elected.

The writer seems to think parenting her own children is beneath Mrs. Obama because she is Ivy League-educated. Bringing up a family is an honorable calling, one her husband will have little time for now. Perhaps the writer needs to spend a few days as the mother of two school-age children to learn that being a "do-nothing, say-nothing, think-nothing wife" hardly covers what we mothers do each day.

Patricia Turlington, Cockeysville

Bush's incompetence makes him worst ever

The writer of the letter "Stop blaming Bush for all that goes wrong" (Nov. 10) needs to have a reality check. Rep. Barney Frank and Sen. Christopher J. Dodd did not deregulate Wall Street, which allowed our economy to tank. While President Bush did not cause the hurricane to hit New Orleans, his incompetence and inability to act caused suffering not found anywhere but in Third World countries.

I know it will be difficult for the letter writer to accept, but Mr. Bush is the worst president this republic has had.

K. Gary Ambridge, Bel Air

Time for both sides to end the blame game

I read with great hope the first paragraph of the letter "Stop blaming Bush for all that goes wrong" (Nov. 10), thinking that it would be a call for unity among the parties. How sadly I was mistaken. The writer goes on to blame liberals for the country's woes, not President Bush. After all, he did not cause the terrorist attack on New York or cause a major hurricane to hit the most vulnerable city in the country. She is right: President Bush did not cause these things to happen. But neither did the liberals.

I am so tired of reading letters from both sides blaming each other for the failures in this country. There is plenty of blame to go around. The left and right need to open their eyes and come to the middle ground.

David James, Aberdeen

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