Abortion on the Ballot: ‘Remember, You Are Alone in the Voting Booth’

More from our inbox:

  • The Supreme Court Ruling About a Gerrymandered Map
  • Talks in the Russia-Ukraine War
  • ‘Stolen’ Election? Prove It.
  • Time for a New Constitutional Convention?

To the Editor:

I am a 41-year-old white, upper-class, single, childless professional, a Midwestern Republican and a practicing Catholic woman. I am disgusted by the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

This does not match my conservative values of smaller government and fiscal conservatism. Practically, why is it a government matter to ensure the completion of truly unwanted and/or dangerous pregnancies?

Personally, I have seen the toll of abortion on friends and relatives. Reasons I’ve seen for having one include date rape, accidental pregnancies, irresponsible lack of birth control and unviable pregnancies. No one took the decision lightly or evaded the psychological impact of the actual event.

Women across their lifetimes deal with everyone else’s interest in and opinion of their bodies. We also deal with managing access to our bodies in ways I do not think most men can understand. Men who want to put part of their bodies inside ours. Doctors who probe inside. Lives that grow inside and can cause serious injury and death in the process.

It’s a lot to manage. I suggest we leave each person to their own management, in a truly Republican way.

Emily Smith
St. Louis

To the Editor:

When my son was born, I had an overpowering feeling of love. I couldn’t imagine loving anyone more than I loved him. Giving birth and having a child are what I cherish most about my life. Every child deserves to be wanted and be the recipient of that powerful love.

I am a pro-choice Democrat. I am also pro-life. And by pro-life I don’t mean the pro-fetus, anti-abortion view of the conservative, religious right. To me pro-life means ensuring that women have prenatal care and adequate family leave, and affordable child care. Pro-life means good nutrition, parental jobs that pay a living wage, safe, affordable housing, excellent public education and health care for everyone.

It is time for Democrats and all who love children to claim the mantle of “pro-life” as ours and to recognize that anti-abortionists care only about the delivery of a fetus no matter how it was conceived and whether is it born alive or dead. We must restore women’s bodily autonomy and right to choose when and how to have a child.

Nancy H. Hensel
Laguna Woods, Calif.

To the Editor:

Those Americans celebrating our nation’s reactionary lurch back to the dark days of government control over women’s bodies are, no doubt, deeply grateful to the millions of self-described progressive and/or Democratic Party-aligned voters who in 2016 opted not to cast a vote at all rather than to vote for Hillary Clinton.

Without the help of those anti-Clinton members of the electorate, it’s highly unlikely the radical right could have fulfilled its dream of creating a top court controlled by overtly activist justices who now, one decision at a time, are ensuring that the politics of white privilege and patriarchal thinking reign supreme.

The End of Roe v. Wade

Commentary by Times Opinion writers and columnists on the Supreme Court’s decision to end ​​the constitutional right to abortion.

  • Michelle Goldberg: “In the aftermath of the anti-abortion movement’s catastrophic victory, it’s worth asking what we can learn from their tactics.”
  • Maureen Dowd: “The court is out of control. We feel powerless to do anything about it. Clarence Thomas, of all people, has helped lead us to where we are.”
  • Peter Coy: “People on the losing end of Supreme Court decisions increasingly feel that justice is not being served. That’s a scary situation for American democracy.”
  • Jamelle Bouie: “The power to check the Supreme Court is there, in the Constitution. The task now is to seize it.”
  • Michele Goodwin, law professor: “The overturning of Roe v. Wade reveals the Supreme Court’s neglectful reading of the amendments that abolished slavery.”

It’s a stark reminder that polls indicating that a majority of voters continue to favor a woman’s right to choose are meaningless if lots of those same voters choose not to vote.

Andy Parker
Portland, Ore.

To the Editor:

At this tragic time for women’s rights, I remember a letter to the editor, in this very paper, that was written 30 years ago. We were at the crux of a significant presidential election, in which several Supreme Court seats were potentially at stake.

The writer of that letter took the liberty of doctoring a quote from Julia Child, who was a known ardent supporter of Planned Parenthood. On one of her cooking shows, Julia accidentally flipped food out of the pan and onto the floor.

As she picked it up from the floor and tossed it back into the pan, she looked into the camera and said, “Always remember: If you’re alone in the kitchen and you drop the lamb, you can always just pick it up. Who’s going to know?”

The writer of that letter reminded women, “Remember, you are alone in the voting booth.”

As we fight to get our rights back, I hope that women, regardless of their political party, will remember that advice this November.

Katrina Saba
Oakland, Calif.

The Supreme Court Ruling About a Gerrymandered Map

Credit…Adriana Zehbrauskas for The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Justices Revive G.O.P.-Drawn Map in Louisiana” (news article, June 29):

The Supreme Court’s reinstatement of the highly partisan gerrymandered voting map by the Louisiana Legislature simply highlights the politicization of the six conservative justices and the court’s continued decline of legitimacy in the public eye.

The trial court found that the Republican-drawn map diluted Black voters’ rights and required the Louisiana Legislature to redraw the map for the coming November election. The six justices arbitrarily blocked the trial court’s order without giving any reason.

Although overshadowed by the abortion, gun permit and church-state cases, this result-oriented order simply reinforces the public’s skepticism of the court’s partisan bent. So much for the Republicans’ historic denunciation of “activist judges.”

Ken Goldman
Beverly Hills, Calif.
The writer is a lawyer.

Talks in the Russia-Ukraine War

To the Editor:

According to the NATO secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, the conflict in Ukraine appears likely to last for some time. In recent days, though, leading voices in Europe, those who want Russia pushed back and punished as well as those who want the war to end quickly, have expressed serious interest in talks.

Negotiation may be more promising if the focus shifts from a final resolution of the protracted conflict to an interim plan with these initial objectives: (a) to cease the fighting and (b) to consider occupied territory “neutral,” and under a protectorate, until a complete resolution can be determined.

Implementing these steps will take some doing, but each, in some form, is essential to limit human suffering, physical damage and economic loss as well as to establish and support a forum for negotiations, one in which “the interests” of the nations, rather than their “positions,” frame the discussions.

This approach allows neither side to claim a victory. They can, however, commit to work for a peaceful Europe, as essential for Ukraine and Russia as for the stability, and prosperity, of the world.

Linda Stamato
Sanford M. Jaffe
Morristown, N.J.
The writers are co-directors of the Center for Negotiation and Conflict Resolution at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University.

‘Stolen’ Election? Prove It.

To the Editor:

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol has methodically laid out a compelling, fact-based argument as to what happened that day, and why.

I am still awaiting the same from those who believe that the 2020 election was “stolen.” What is their case? Where are their facts? Instead of a disciplined, marshaled argument, I hear only shrieks, shouts and hyperbole.

I am reminded of President Lincoln’s observation in the midst of a similar hysteria: “Passion has helped us; but can do so no more. It will in future be our enemy. Reason, cold, calculating, unimpassioned reason, must furnish all the materials for our future support and defence.”

As a nation, this must be our watchword moving forward.

Philip Taft
Hopewell, N.J.

Time for a New Constitutional Convention?

To the Editor:

Many of us are frustrated that the institutions we look to for guiding our democracy are not working: a Supreme Court that interprets law as written hundreds of years ago; a Senate and a House often mired in gridlock; an executive branch that has suffered a near coup from partisans chanting false information about election fraud.

Clearly something is not working, and we the people need to be the adults in the room to provide guidance.

Perhaps it’s time for a new constitutional convention to update the contract between the people and our government so it works for all of us again.

Richard M. Schubert
Portland, Ore.

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