Abortion used to oppress women

Because I believe so strongly in a woman’s right to control her body, I volunteered to help out at a clinic performing abortions. During the course of one morning, two of the women who were provided with abortions were women who apparently used the service on a regular basis.

The first woman came with a male companion. They were Hispanic, and the staff lectured them on the benefits of birth control methods other than abortion. The woman was clearly distraught, trembling and on the verge of tears; the man, cool and unconcerned.

The second couple were Anglo and seemingly well off. The woman was nervous. With forced gaiety, she chattered about how they would be more careful in the future. Behind her forced cheerfulness, I suspected the same dynamics as with the Hispanic couple; the Anglo couple, however, were not lectured but only treated icily.

I never volunteered again as I detected in those encounters that abortion was being used by men as their preferred method of birth control. For this reason, I support an abortion policy that would limit abortions say to two per year. Unlimited abortion can be and is used to oppress women.

Karen Saum


Act on climate change

Kudos to Meg Haskell for her excellent Nov. 28 BDN article about three generations of a Bangor-area family who have rolled up their sleeves to take on the “daunting and politically divisive issue” of global climate change and founded the Bangor chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby, of which I am a member.

Citizens’ Climate Lobby is a grassroots, bipartisan, national campaign to move us from fossil fuels to renewable energy by pricing carbon for the pollution it creates and returning that fee as a dividend to all Americans. Carbon pricing is a practical, market-based approach advocated by Republicans, such as George Shultz, who served as secretary of state under President Ronald Reagan. President Barack Obama called it “the most elegant way” of addressing climate change at his press conference in Paris on Dec. 1.

I urge Rep. Bruce Poliquin and Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King to support a revenue-neutral carbon fee and dividend as an effective, efficient and equitable way of tackling the serious challenge of climate change.

Christina Diebold


A tree by any other name

Thanks, BDN, for the headline, “It’s Beginning to Feel a Lot Like Christmas,” over the photograph on the front page of the Dec. 2 issue showing the installation of the city of Bangor’s “holiday tree.”

I know a lot of people call our Christmas tree a “holiday tree” so as not to offend people of other religions who do not celebrate Christmas. But do any of these other religions celebrate their end-of-year holiday with a tree? If not, why cannot our Christmas tree still be called a Christmas tree?

That is what I will call it to my dying day.

Beverlee Beers Richardson


Excited for ranked-choice voting

I am excited that, in November 2016, Maine residents will have the opportunity to vote for ranked-choice voting in our state. This new option would allow voters on their ballots to vote for multiple candidates, ranking them in order of preference. If a voter’s first choice is eliminated, that vote would be transferred to the second choice candidate and so on.

A voter would have the chance to vote for his or her true choice without concern for “splitting the vote.” I feel this process would ensure a more accurate reflection of voters’ intent, giving the electorate an opportunity to deliver a broader message than ever before to political candidates and parties.

Ann Haley


Colorado shooter a terrorist

The shooting in Colorado Springs last week was horrible. The shooter, however, has been framed incorrectly. The shooter is a terrorist. He is a religious extremist, and this is an example of homegrown religious terrorism. This was a terrorist attack.

Why was it so enthusiastically misclassified, do you think? This is as clear cut an example of fanatical religious terrorism as what happened in Paris, albeit on a much smaller scale, but you’ll never see it cast in that light.

Had he been a Muslim who committed the same act, we’d all be on high alert. It’s a shame. Most Muslims aren’t terrorists, and neither are most Christians, but Muslims in general are cast in a negative light to the actions of the fanatics. Meanwhile, fanatical Christian beliefs and rhetoric are swept under the rug whenever one of these attacks take place.

Ian Carey