Letters To The Editor

Don Chapman
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February 20, 2008 - MidWeek
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Pondering plastic

The “Too much plastic” and “Plastic hypocrisy” letters exemplify the level of social and political discourse all too prevalent these days. Susan Page, whether a “neo-con” or a “political conservative,” was merely stating her views about a particular issue when she wrote about plastic bags. And, for that, she doesn’t deserve pejorative lashings anymore than those folks like “Rush” (you know) and other such garbage-throwing pundits regularly dish out.

Even Jade Moon, who gets paid to push “green” things, admits to using plastic bags on occasion. Like Jade, I can tell you that the bags can be especially useful for trash bags, and that the bags can indeed be “recycled” as energy-producing elements.

And yes, I know there’s more to the argument, on both sides.

Jao Ottinger
Makaha Valley


Worst governor?

Bob Jones says that he was wrong to think that Linda Lingle would “bring a better intellect and style to the governorship than Lt. Gov. Hirono.” Yes, he was.

Gov. Lingle showed her “intellect” when she told us that “George Bush is the greatest president in our history.” It is Lingle and Lt. Gov. Aiona who are “political nobodies,” playing games with us and our state.

Nancy Bey Little
Makiki

Follow conscience

Bob Jones commented last week on House Bill 466, which would force St. Francis Hospital to dispense “morning-after” pills to rape victims. Mr. Jones erroneously refers to them as “contraceptive” (“against conception”), when he admits in the same column that these pills actually cause abortions, which is an event that can only happen after conception. If the state tries to enforce this bill, they will be violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 at the minimum, and possibly other federal laws. In denying St. Francis and its employees the right to follow their consciences, the state will open itself up to many lawsuits from those parties. To see what a losing, unconstitutional idea this is, do a Google search on “aclj, morning-after pill.”

Steve Williams
Honolulu


Not an abortion pill

I read Bob Jones’ MidWeek column about his support of HB 466, requiring hospital emergency rooms to make emergency contraceptives (EC) available to rape victims. Gov. Lingle vetoed our legislation in 2003. Planned Parenthood of Hawaii has been working since then to pass this legislation.

While we’re pleased with his support, the column contained a major mis-statement. He was discussing St. Francis Hospital when he stated, “I know that’s a theological dilemma for Catholics because the pills do cause an abortion if the woman has been impregnated.”

I want to point out that emergency contraceptive pills do not cause abortions - they prevent pregnancy and the need for abortion. The public is often confused about the difference between emergency contraception and medication abortion because of such mis-statements.

EC will not induce an abortion in a woman who is already pregnant, nor will it affect the developing pre-embryo or embryo. Oral contraceptives, including EC, prevent pregnancy by inhibiting ovulation, fertilization and/or implantation. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Medical Women’s Association, define pregnancy as beginning with implantation and agree that EC does not cause abortion because it has no effect once implantation has occurred.

EC pills, when taken within 72 hours after unprotected sex, reduce a woman’s risk of pregnancy by 75-94 percent. They are most effective when taken within 24 hours after unprotected sex but can be effective up to 120 hours. Women may need EC even though they regularly use contraceptives.

The need arises when contraceptives fail or are not used correctly, men and women fail to plan ahead, or when women are forced to have sex against their will.

Barry Raff, MPH
CEO, Planned Parenthood
Hawaii

Send your letters to MidWeek Letters, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 500, Honolulu, HI. 96813; by fax to 585-6324, or by email to dchapman@midweek.com. Please include your name, address and daytime and evening phone numbers. We print only the letters that include this information, but only your name and area of residence will appear in print. Letters may be edited for clarity and space.
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