Readers React to Abortion, Global Warming

This week's columns raised plenty of eyebrows and sent many users to their keyboards to give their thoughts on two constantly debated topics.

Wendy McElroy received a plethora of email from all sides of the abortion argument, but just about all those who wrote in agreed with at least some of her ideas.

Steven Milloy's Junk Science column about the humans causes of global warming received a perfectly divided response. While about half of users felt Milloy missed the mark on global warming, others agreed with him entirely.

Here's a sample of what users had to say:

Joan Harman wrote:

Please don’t put me in the same category as those who choose to murder abortion providers. I oppose abortion in all forms except to save the life of the mother. Even though my position is based on my religious beliefs, by your definition I am an extremist. Yet I would NEVER condone the murder of anyone — including abortionists. At least allow me the decency of not being associated with those who I consider no better than the abortion providers themselves.

James W. Johnston of Atlanta, Ga., wrote:

Thank you for speaking up and letting us in the "growing middle ground" know that we are not alone and hopefully the remarks that will surely follow from both camps will only encourage you to speak louder in the future.

Mike Messmer of Olathe, Kans., wrote:

Thank you for such a thoughtful and provocative article. I believe "a woman’s body and a woman’s right" is a very sound principle for which to stand. But what about the principle of "a child’s body and a child’s right" or "a baby’s body and a baby’s right?"

Ayric Dierenfeld wrote:

Until I read your article, I never would have imagined a pro-choice piece with so much reason and honesty. I am Christian and pro-life, and I have my own opinions about solving the problem short of violating a woman’s control over her life and body. This is the first media piece I've read from "the other side" that didn't seem to drip propaganda and complete insensitivity on those who value an unborn life.

Becky Turner wrote:

Since I am employed with Georgia Right to Life, I do not agree with everything in the article. However, I do agree that "the extremes cannot be allowed to dominate debate...the stakes in abortion are too high." Thank you for being willing to take a stand even if it goes against what many of your colleagues are saying.

Brain La Croix, a pastor from Aberdeen, S.D., wrote:

I write to applaud you. Your latest offering on was great. I think we have a fundamental disagreement on abortion, but you did a wonderful job of framing how the arguments should be presented.

While I am pro-life, I am sickened by the murder of abortionists, and by the posting of mothers who have abortions on web sites. There is no need for that — it is wrong. I think some pro-lifers, the extremists, don’t seem to understand that one can be vehemently pro-life without being violently pro-life.

Thank you again for your reasoned approach.

Robert C. Andrews, Jr. wrote:

"I stand by the principle, ‘a woman’s body, a woman’s right,’ but I don’t always like myself for doing so." The statement above, copied from your article, is the most pervasive and yet troubling argument of the pro-abortion position. The concept of "my body, my choice" has little validity in the human experience. For example, I was in bed this morning at 5:30 a.m. and I wanted to stay there. "My body, my choice." But there were moral and legal requirements that forced me to get out of bed.

As our life experiences teach us, the right to choose in many things is no right at all. People don't choose to be born into poverty or political chaos. People don't choose their race or national origin. But we wouldn't consider legalizing stealing for all people born poor.

The real debate must be on the value of a human life. Ultimately we will find that the culture that doesn't value every human life doesn't value any human life and that is the real choice the abortion debate brings. I appreciate your boldness in addressing subjects often considered taboo. The way you approach tough issues forces your readers to move beyond tired cliches and think for themselves. Keep up the good work.

Charles Curley wrote:

Good grief, Wendy, don't you know that calm, rationality and good faith are exactly the things that should never be allowed near the abortion debate? If some sort of agreement might break out where would the extremists be? Alone, isolated, and unable to raise funds. Why, they might actually have to find jobs in the real world. You wouldn't want that, would you?

Vondell Hass of Wichita, Kans., wrote:

What a great article this was about the global warming supporters going in a van that burns 13 miles to the gallon. What hypocrites!

Junk science is used to promote the liberal media's attack on industrialists. Why can't media give equal coverage on the truth —humans are unable to create global warming.

The liberal media with its politically correct agenda is not believable.

Lynn Ertell wrote:

In my own lifetime (half a century), I have seen alarmingly dramatic environmental changes, and the rate and intensity of the changes has accelerated. Over the long term, in my area (mid-Atlantic) we have experienced a decline in snowfall from at least one blizzard a year to a few inches in the winter. Tornadoes were nonexistent in Maryland when I was growing up. They started two years ago and have progressively increased to the point where they are a frequent occurrence now. This is first-rate empirical evidence to me that something dramatic is happening.

Timothy M. Parshall wrote:

It’s time to start down the road to responsible government and responsible environmental policy. Keep your SUV, but learn that this is a society in which we all depend on one another for many things. I am willing to give up my SUV and lead a more economical and environmentally sensible life. Let’s move forward, not backward. The lies and deceit will not change until we make the corporations, responsible for idiocy in the government, take a back seat in legislation.

They are focused on now, not the future. Profits are much more important to them then people. When will the rest of America wake up to this fact?

Nathan James wrote:

Forget pollution for a moment — paved cities create their own weather patterns and are generally warmer than the location would have been if left natural.

Maybe the Earth is getting warmer due to natural causes, but does that suggest a significant rise in sea levels, increasingly violent storms and changes in the climate are of no concern to us?

Your position essentially means "pollute until there's proof." Luckily, more future-minded people exist to help stop the destructive trend you would have us blindly continue. I am pro-business and pro-public health. As a matter of fact, there are likely to be many profitable businesses created from fixing the problems caused by your sort of reasoning.

Dr. Timothy Smith from the University of California at San Diego wrote:

Your viewpoint that global warming is a myth is one of the more ludicrous statements I have read from a supposedly educated individual. I am guessing that you believe that evolution is just another passing scientific fancy also. While your point that many of these so-called environmentalists are hypocrites is definitely true, I am surprised that you are buying into the corporate-political line that there is no scientific evidence to support the global warming theory.

Terry Torkildson of Sioux Falls, S.D., wrote:

You make it sound like humans have in no way contributed to the current warming of our climate. That conclusion to me seems absurd — of course humans have contributed. It's just a matter of finding out the level of contribution, and if that level requires a change in current policy.

M. Elliott from Sacramento, Calif., wrote:

How big do icebergs have to be from the breakup of the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica before myopic writers like you consider the possibility that the earth is getting warmer? The last one was larger than the state of Delaware!

If human activity alone is not responsible for global warming, it could be argued to be a factor. Human activity, properly channeled, could help alleviate some of the effects — such as the flooding of coastal regions, where a large percentage of free-market enthusiasts live and work and invest money. Spend less time scandal-mongering the protests and counter-protests and more time examining environmental evidence.