1. Letters to the Editor

Where does a pro-choice, pro-lifer fit into this debate? | Saturday's letters

The author purports to summarize the reasoning behind two schools of thought in the national debate on abortion rights. She does not speak for me; I see myself in neither of the categories she describes. There are other perspectives.

My life experiences have given me numerous opportunities to consider many arguments put forward on this issue and, after 35 years of thought, I can only conclude that this is not an issue for any legislature — so stay out of it.

We should not politicize a decision in which personal freedoms and ethical considerations create an unresolvable dilemma. There will always be losers. (As they say, hard cases make bad law.)

It's that simple. Under this approach, I am free to be pro-life, yet my personal views are not imposed on anyone else. And no one else's personal beliefs are imposed on me.

So I ask the author, how does a pro-choice pro-lifer fit into your paradigm?

Susan Christensen, St. Petersburg

Abortions will continue

Let's cut to the chase. Will making abortion illegal again reduce the number of abortions? No, it will reduce the number of legal abortions; Illegal abortions will increase. The author writes that under legal abortion policies, "Men in charge of sex-trafficking rings drag abused women to abortion clinics so they can continue exploiting their bodies." Yes, and if abortion is illegal, they will drag abused women to back-alley rooms where criminals will do the work.

John Chase, Palm Harbor

Switching the issue at hand

This essay suffers from several logical fallacies. The author's first error is to change the issue about which she claims to be making the argument. She claims to be addressing the issue of abortion but then switches back and forth between it and the issue of choice. One may not notice this switching without paying careful attention to her argument. Her claim that "abortion has been used as a tool to reinforce patriarchal ideals," is a clear indication of confusing abortion with choice. Further, her two examples of parents or guardians forcing a young woman to have an abortion and of sex-trafficking rings doing the same thing show this confusion. The young women in such situations are exactly in the position of being denied choice. They are forced to have an abortion whether or not they wish to do so. Those who favor choice do not necessarily favor abortion. What they favor is the ability of a woman to make the choice. It isn't abortion that empowers women; it is the ability to exercise their own choice in the matter of where their own bodies are concerned that is empowering. Denying them that ability is to dis-empower women in the most fundamental way.

Ralph Madison, St. Petersburg

The Mueller Report

A coming inflection point

Two years ago, on June 17, 2017, President Donald Trump called White House legal counsel, Don McGahn, and "directed him to have the Special Counsel removed," according to the Mueller Report. In a recent ABC interview, Trump denied that happened and said McGahn lied, a federal crime, to "make himself look like a good lawyer." How do we separate fact from fiction? There is a simple solution — McGahn should testify before Congress and comply with the congressional subpoena to provide documents related to the Mueller probe.

The White House is opposed to both and has invoked executive privilege barring McGahn from cooperating. It is likely this invocation will be denied by the courts, with the Supreme Court's unanimous ruling against Richard Nixon's use of executive privilege to shield personal wrongdoing serving as precedent.

Historians maintain that this was the inflection point leading to Nixon's demise. Trump may be on course for a like-kind fate because as the saying goes: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

Jim Paladino, Tampa

Actually doing the reading

I am wading through the Mueller Report, roughly 20 pages or so at a time, and it is a hard slog. It's a very "lawyerly" document and not an easy read. And just when I think, "Aha, here's a smoking gun," the dispassionate legal language, myriad case-law references and footnotes that follow are not only confusing and meaningless but quickly tamp down interest in going any further; thus my 20 pages at a time. It's all I can manage.

But I had a thought as I started Volume II: Why not create an easier read by removing the case-law information that follows almost every paragraph? I'd venture to say that only judges and attorneys are interested in McCabe vs. Miller, 1963, or whatever. And the footnotes at the bottom of each page? The American public — who, like me, I would guess, want just the facts — might be more likely to read that report. Without case-law references and inches of footnotes, the Mueller Report becomes a narrative — and an eye-opening one at that.

Barbara Moch, Treasure Island

Arrests along Mexico border are falling, preliminary figures show | June 19

A question of priorities

Allocation of resources is basically a zero-sum exercise, a matter of priorities. Worthy causes on their own are top priority but when compared with others, must compete for top prize. In my opinion, there are domestic needs of higher priority such as our 450,000 foster children who, if not reunited or adopted, age out at 18, then are subject to substance abuse and human trafficking. Also, the overall drug problem including opioids is highly important. I believe the support of undocumented aliens from Mexico, Central and South America and now Africa rate well below many of our domestic programs of which only two are mentioned here.

My heart goes out to those poor foreigners duped into marching all the way to our back door but shame on those who sent them.

John Clynick, Tampa