This week the Supreme Court will revisit one of the most devastating decisions ever made — Roe v. Wade — in the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization. It will decide whether a new Mississippi law that bans elective abortions after 15 weeks is constitutional. The court has an opportunity to undo a grievous constitutional error and end the killing of millions of pre-born American children. In my opinion it will be an opportunity for the court to right a constitutional injustice.
Abortion supporters persistently remind the justices they must embrace the precedent set by Roe v. Wade for the sake of the court's legitimacy. But where does this "legitimacy" come from? Should the court's "legitimacy" be tied to public opinion? It is apparent some justices have based their decisions on personal preference. They have let their ideology infringe on the rule of law. The founders did not intend for the third branch of government to be conservative or liberal or to rule based on personal opinion.
It is a dire fact that the Roe decision has resulted in the direct attack on human life. This decision has made a mockery of our Constitution. As Americans, we all have to answer the question, "At what point in time is it safe to say the unborn human offspring is a human baby?"
Science shows a baby develops a heartbeat early in the first trimester. A heartbeat proves the existence of life. Many states have passed "heartbeat" bills which have been struck down as unconstitutional. Essentially, Roe v. Wade takes precedence over the science of biology. This is the constitutional injustice the Supreme Court can finally undo.
Abortion kills the conscience and the "heartbeat" of America. I hope the justices on the Supreme Court realize how important this opportunity truly is. Every life is God's creation — and science proves it.
Ken Sims, Moorhead, Minn.
In response to the writer who talked about age of viability for premature babies, congratulations on your baby boy! ("Babies my son's age deserve a chance to live," Opinion Exchange, Nov 26.) It's wonderful that you had a positive outcome given the circumstances. Please remember, however, that this was your experience, and many more cases won't turn out as well. People have a right to choose what is right for them depending on their own circumstances, whether personal, economical or ability to persevere. The writer stated that regarding abortion, "We need to come together and change society so that [people] can make a better choice."
A better choice according to who? People have a right to make the best decision for themselves.
Paula Nelson, Plymouth
While the Opinion Exchange label on Nov. 26 was "Abortion and the law," what the two pieces really highlighted was unequal access to health care and the outcomes of this inequity ("Minnesota must move beyond Roe v. Wade" and "Babies my son's age deserve a chance to live"). By limiting access to abortion, just one piece of reproductive health care, the only people hurt are pregnant women with limited or no means, young women not prepared to raise a child, immigrants not engaged in our health system, people living in rural areas without nearby world-class medical care, LGBTQ people who are marginalized, and people who just aren't insured or are underinsured. What really jumped out at me was one of the writers' statements that his wife's early labor caused them to rush to Abbott Northwestern to "meet our team of doctors who had been guiding us through the pregnancy."
Abortion laws notwithstanding, his opinion piece is blind to health care justice. For those who do not have access to a team guiding their pregnancy, the outcome would be very different.
Ellen Joseph, Minneapolis
These travel restrictions are theater
In response to the discovery of a new variant/mutation of the COVID-19 virus in South Africa, the United States has joined many European countries and imposed travel restrictions on people traveling from certain African countries to the United States. In general, I support the concept of travel restrictions to restrict the spread of this virus, but in practice, the travel restrictions imposed in the United States and in Europe have been largely ineffective because they have been "a day late and a dollar short," as we used to say. People respond to proposed travel restrictions by rushing to travel from the restricted area to a desired destination before the restrictions go into effect, bringing the virus with them, intentionally or unintentionally. It would certainly be worse without travel restrictions, but the damage has already been done. The virus has spread from one country to another, frequently on planes or in airports with people dispersing in multiple directions.
The other problem is circuitous travel to circumvent the travel restrictions imposed on one country or region. The fact is, people are clever and self-centered. They want to get home or to their desired destination even if it means inadvertently bringing the virus along with them. The bottom line is that if the United States is concerned enough about the spread of this new variant to impose travel restrictions, then it should not have waited, and the restrictions should be extensive so that people cannot circumvent them while they are in effect.
David Witte, Plymouth
Articles such as "GOP blasts Biden's virus effort" continues to politicize the pandemic and divide the nation into camps. Neither Republicans or Democrats nor Donald Trump or Joe Biden have been effective at following the science or understanding social science of human behavior. We have learned much about COVID-19 and have more tools today to minimize the deadly effects of the virus. Yet the media continues to quote political hacks from both parties about what works and what doesn't.
We know that the elderly and the immunocompromised are the most vulnerable, and they should be our top priority. We know vaccines are effective, but the effectiveness wanes over time, and boosters are necessary. We know that individual companies had the legal precedent to enforce vaccine mandates upon employees and could do so based upon each company's unique circumstances. We should have known that federal vaccine mandates would be challenged in court, become a political issue and raise distrust of the vaccine itself. We have learned that masking is effective in controlling the spread (with the appropriate type and fit), and that there are learning and emotional effects on children who are masked.
What we haven't learned is that science is ever-evolving, that data interpreted by scientists can be trusted and that politicians and the media will spin the data to fit their bias.
Robert Stevens, Mound
On the front page of Friday's paper, the lead article "Walz's powers targeted by GOP" reveals that the Minnesota GOP is yet again pushing to limit the emergency powers our governor had used in combating the spread of COVID-19. Another front-page article talks about an even more virulent COVID variant recently detected in South Africa and already spreading, while at the same time Minnesota's GOP continues to seek the removal of Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm, who has valiantly led efforts to contain the virus.
What is the GOP thinking? Public health must not be a political football. Public health should be everyone's concern, yet the GOP has attempted to roadblock almost every move forward in its containment. The U.S., U.K. and others moved to block flights from several African countries following discovery of the new, potentially more transmissible variant of COVID-19. We are not yet out of the woods with the virus. Minnesota needs to keep its guard up. It's long past time Minnesota's GOP becomes part of the solution, not a contributor to the problem.
Bill Rohde, New Brighton
We want to hear from you. Send us your thoughts here.