‘Lighten others’ burdens’

Fifty years ago, my husband and I had a son and adopted a son. Our Catholic adoption agency facilitated and partially supported the adoption of children in need, including older kids, children with disabilities, and Black and Native children.

So I thought an anti-abortion Midwestern Republican had the right idea when he talked of collectively obtaining milk and diapers for impoverished new mothers. But parenthood is an 18-year-to-lifetime commitment.

In the years after Roe, I hope anti-abortion folks will lighten others’ burdens by adopting kids, guiding kids and voting for higher taxes to nourish new families.

Children put burdens on others, adults lighten others’ burdens.

Susan Wineke, Des Moines

‘Get loud. Get mad’

As a 19-year-old advocate and digital media manager for my university’s Planned Parenthood liaison group, June 24 was a day of disappointment, to say the least. As a daughter, sister and girlfriend, it was a day of horror.

To those asking, “How is our country going backward?,” the poem “A Litany for Survival” by Audre Lorde says it best: “ … when the sun rises we are afraid it might not remain … so it is better to speak remembering we were never meant to survive.”

Women are a part of the American bedrock and soil, but just as the men of our country assault the ecology of this nation, people with uteruses will always be subjugated to the knowledge that despite the fact they are crucial they will never be considered equals.

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To those asking, “What now?,” the answer is rage, rage against the forces that oppress before that anger turns to parasuicide. “Agency” is the knowledge that we as a collective have the power to set our feet in the soil and the bedrock that we formed in this nation, and place a hand against these forces. Get loud. Get mad.

We were never meant to survive. Yet we have. We were never meant to survive. Yet we will.

Evelyn Thurman, Deer Harbor

Men, let’s join this fight

The Supreme Court has ruled. The right wing has its victory over liberty and dignity. As the anti-abortion movement celebrates, many of its leaders will claim they are motived by religion, but none will say its name. That name is patriarchy. Its drive is to perpetuate male supremacy, men’s control over the lives and bodies of women.

Mostly male-run state legislatures make clear their preferences. They care only for the imagined innocence of fetuses they cannot see. They care not for the humanity of the women standing in plain sight, whom they could see, choose not to see and proceed to judge anyway. They are not “pro-life.” They are merely pro-birth.

Their overwhelmingly white male membership will never experience the hardships women face — in pregnancy, delivery or general life challenges — like doing equal work for unequal pay, facing sexual harassment and assault, and too much more. Yet those legislators deem themselves entitled to rule what women must do in their reproductive lives.

The job for those of us males who see this evil is to join abortion-rights women and by every means resist it.

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The Rev. Brooke Rolston, Seattle, American Baptist minister (retired)

‘Second-class citizens’

In 1973, I was 20 years old. My college roommates and I were ecstatic when we received the news on Roe v. Wade. One of us had traveled to Mexico to have an abortion in 1968. We all felt that this was the “giant leap forward” for our generation of women — and those to come after us. Nearly 50 years later, we find ourselves, once again, fighting for our right to choose. The Supreme Court, in all its wisdom, has made women second-class citizens for life.

The fact that Roe v. Wade has been overturned is simply medieval. I, for one, am not allowing this side to win this time. We can stop every one of the candidates, for every office, that support this mindset. If there was ever a time to “get out the vote,” this is now — NOW.

The Supreme Court cannot be allowed to render laws that the majority of Americans find utterly reprehensible.

Jan Leonard, Mukilteo

Vote to preserve freedoms

I am horrified and numb, knowing Roe v. Wade is no longer the law. I wish demonstrating would return us to sanity. I wish the U.S. Supreme Court respected the freedoms written into our Constitution and the precedents justices swore under oath to respect. I wish conservative justices would stop being hypocritical in their decisions. Unfortunately, wishes do not create change.

The only way to preserve our democracy is to speak out and vote against every elected official at every level of government whose words and actions limit our freedoms (reproductive rights, voting rights, marriage rights and all the others currently threatened).

This is a call to arms: Please, actively encourage, support and vote for candidates who respect and will vote for our rights and freedoms. If you can, donate funds; if not, please volunteer, spread the word among friends and VOTE in every election.

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Converting wishes into votes is the only way to create a positive future for us and for every generation that follows.

Karen Pierce Goncalves, Bellevue

Fight back with citizen initiatives

Most, if not all states, allow citizen-sponsored initiatives to appear on the ballot once a required number of signatures supporting the initiative are gathered and submitted to the Secretary of State for validation.

This action may be the most clear-cut solution for citizens to overturn the draconian anti-abortion laws passed by red-state legislatures and governors. It may also motivate more voters to turn out to approve such abortion-rights initiatives and perhaps at the same time exact revenge on anti-abortion state politicians (mostly men) who zealously and callously supported overturning Roe.

T. Skylar Tennent, Tacoma

‘Flawed historical information’

Thank you for publishing the Op-Ed by Professor Patricia Cline Cohen discussing the flawed historical “information” relied on by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. in his opinion [“Decision to rescind Roe distorts history,” June 26, Opinion].

I would like to emphasize 3 points:

• At the time of the Constitution’s adoption, no state had any anti-abortion statutes.

• In the early 19th century, there were expressions of concern about the falling birthrates among white Protestant women as part of biases against increasing Catholic immigration.

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• The doctors of the early American Medical Association wanted to eliminate competition in many medical situations, and abortion services were an important example of this monopolization attempt.

Phil Bereano, Seattle, Professor Emeritus, Technology and Public Policy, University of Washington

‘ “Pro-life” means so much more’

I am “pro-life” and support a woman’s right to choose. The Supreme Court majority’s regressive ruling failed us once again. It focused solely on the lives of the unborn while disregarding with harsh judgment the lives of pregnant women. It gave no consideration to a woman’s circumstances and health decisions made with her doctor and family.

Those justices should be ruling in favor of life and quality of life at all stages — from newborns through every age until the end of life. While protecting unborn life is desirable, “pro-life” means so much more. In part, it is supporting much stricter gun laws, affordable education, health care and child care. It’s not supporting the death penalty. It is prioritizing climate control, protecting the environment, assuring equal justice under the law for all, not just the privileged. It is doing everything possible to lessen poverty, homelessness, mental illness and crime. Simply, it’s consistently ruling to improve life for everyone.

It’s a scary shame we can no longer depend on our highest court to do just that — to speak clearly in support of life, liberty and justice for all.

Pat Secrest, Seattle

Time for serious legislating

As long as Roe v. Wade was in place there was no incentive for serious legislators to find a common ground. Now the Supreme Court has given our elected officials the chance. Now is the time for serious legislators to seriously legislate. I hope U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal shows us how this can be done.

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John Rose, Seattle

Mind your own health care decisions

Re: Demand for pills on the rise as States ban abortion. Mon 4/27/2922.

The abortion fight has become tragically divisive and harmful to millions of women in this country. I understand that people have their own opinions on the subject, but what gives them the right to force decisions, either way, on anybody else?

The simple truth is, no matter what your opinion, religion, wealth, color or political views happen to be, the decisions of others are none of your business. If you are anti-abortion then don’t have one, and please keep your nose out of the health care decisions of anyone else.

Lindsay P. Allen, Renton

Turning choice on its head

While reading “Washington’s anti-abortion advocates celebrate Roe ruling, though in a low-key fashion” [June 24, Local News], I was struck by how the concept of choice was either inferred or stated, but only by people who are anti-abortionists.

Esther Ripplinger, executive director of Human Life of Washington, had an abortion when she was 19 but regrets that decision today. Yes, she did this due to the strong-arm tactics of her boyfriend’s parents, but she still had the choice to say no and have the baby — she chose not to.

Then there’s Washington state Senate Minority Leader John Braun, R-Centralia, who calls for better support for pregnant women who choose to give birth. There’s that choice option again, but only in regards to giving birth.

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Finally there is Julie Barrett, founder of Conservative Ladies of Washington. She had an unplanned pregnancy at a young age and almost got an abortion but changed her mind and didn’t. She had a choice and made her decision.

What the reversal of Roe v. Wade has done is it’s taken away choice from one group of women while preserving it for another. That will be one of the lasting legacies of this unfair decision.

Robert Oberlander, Issaquah

‘What’s next?’

How ironic that two days after the shocking reversal of Roe v. Wade, the Seattle Pride Parade was in person after three long years.

As many celebrated diversity, we, as people of the human race, are being stripped of our constitutional rights. What’s next? Same-sex marriage? Same-sex adoption? Who knows what else.

What is happening to our personal freedom? I grieve for the loss of our unalienable rights so clearly stated in the Declaration of Independence, which included “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Our voices matter, as do our votes — especially our votes.

Ellen K. Reichman, Kirkland

Disgrace

Women and girls are becoming chattel, once again. Justice Alito et al. could have been more forthright presenting the long, “deep roots” of the chattel history of women than their contorted and tainted history of abortion rights in the U.S.

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With the denial and disparagement of the “privacy” rights of women on reproductive matters [i.e., a long-standing non-enumerated right covered by the Ninth Amendment], a woman’s reproductive choices are now a matter for policymakers, men representing the majority in state legislatures, Congress and the current Supreme Court. What is next, a ban on contraception, public registries that track pregnant women and forced pregnancies regardless of circumstances?

The U.S. Supreme Court has disgraced this republic.

Tom L. Carter, Kenmore

What sanctity of all life looks like

Some of you are rejoicing over the downfall of Roe v. Wade. While I don’t agree with you, I do respect a heartfelt, consistent belief in and commitment to the sanctity of all life. I’m wondering, going forward, what that will look like.

Will you:

• Care about children once they are born?

• Foster or adopt a child from your state, especially those with physical/cognitive disabilities, fetal alcohol syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder , adverse childhood experiences, addiction disorders and mental health difficulties?

• Advocate (time, money, voting) for pregnancy prevention measures to reduce the need for abortion, such as comprehensive, research-based, age-appropriate, physical, emotional, behavioral, sexual health education in all schools; school-based health centers that provide access to birth control; all health insurance plans covering birth control 100%; and community health centers that provide free birth control?

• Advocate (time, money, voting) for equitable access for all children to safe and stable housing; nutritious and adequate food; high-quality education; a fair and age-appropriate juvenile justice system; quality health care; and clean and safe water, air and land?

• Care about women who will die from illegal abortions? Are they of less value than a nonviable fetus?

Leigh Jones-Bamman, Bainbridge Island