Mind your business

To the Editor:

Recent action by Congress concerning Planned Parenthood is shameful in that it throws the baby out with the bathwater.

Not everyone agrees with the actions of some Planned Parenthood centers in selling fetal tissue for research. I for one don’t, and the parent organizations have instituted actions to see that it doesn’t happen again. The fact that some Planned Parenthood centers chose to do it is not sufficient reason for shutting down funding for all centers, thereby depriving many women of the counseling, planning and abortion services they desperately need.

One could think that Congress liked the idea of more welfare babies and families with their backs to the wall. Some of our congressmen have stated that they are opposed to abortion even to save the life of the mother or in the case of incest. I don’t think the majority opinion would support that stance. But then the majority of voters are women, and the majority of congressmen are just that – men.

Recent arguments surrounding Roe v. Wade are about majority opinion and popular morality as well. We do not have a government by majority opinion but by law. Religion is supposed to be an individual choice. The argument is really whether the government has a right to decide medical procedures, invade medical records or make family decisions.

The discussion of birth control, vasectomy, abortion and other personal issues should not be a discussion for politicians but for families and those intimately concerned.

In a pluralistic society, there is also a host of opinion on acceptable procedures concerning life-and-death issues. Some of you may remember the Terry Schiavo case as an example of government gone wild when some members of Congress voted to keep Terry Schiavo on artificial life support against the wishes of the people most concerned about her welfare, including her parents, doctors, nurses and hospital. She eventually and mercifully died, but it was long after this unwarranted interference.

When did we ever give the government the right to decide these things for us? The Supreme Court has decided (but not unanimously) that there is a right to privacy in the Constitution. Further, the Constitution gives us the right to be secure in our persons.

Let families and affected individuals make these difficult choices unhampered, and let politicians stay out of medical decisions and medical records. The privileged beauty of living securely in the United States is that we have these freedoms. They should not be under interminable discussion by anyone who has a political ax to grind.

To Congress, I say “Mind your own business.”

Paula Marcus

Bar Harbor

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