Letters to the Editor

Letters: Ky. abortion law should allow exceptions; Pediatricians wrong to condemn spanking

Katie Vandegrift with baby Audrey who died in the womb
Katie Vandegrift with baby Audrey who died in the womb Photo submitted

Abortion-ban exception

Even though I am opposed to unlimited abortion, I feel great sympathy for Katie Vandegrift, who wrote a recent opinion piece about her heartbreaking difficulties with her unborn children. She is committed to freedom of choice in pregnancy because without the present law, she would have been in serious health crises with her pregnancies.

But perhaps there is a middle way on the abortion issue. My own feelings, and those of most abortion opponents that I know, is that there should be a medical exception made to allow for such emergencies as hers.

The tragedy of the law as it stands is that the vast majority of second- and third-trimester abortions are for reasons having nothing to do with a woman’s health. Thus, many perfectly healthy unborn children are annihilated.

As the great Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan said many years ago, this procedure is too close to infanticide for comfort. A revision of the law to prohibit all abortions except for medical necessity would be acceptable to most abortion opponents — and would certainly be more humane.

Paul David Nelson


Don’t condemn spanking

Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics, representing 67,000 doctors, issued a new policy recommending pediatricians advise parents against spanking children.

Certainly, I condemn any physical abuse of children, and a parent filled with rage while spanking his or her child would be abusive. However, to blanketly condemn all spanking is to reject at least five Biblical references to corporal punishment in the Book of Proverbs, including “He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly.”

I am thankful for the contributions of pediatricians to our families and society, but I disagree with their new policy. God’s word is a wonderful gift from God to humanity, and we would do well to believe and obey God in his infinite wisdom.

Tom Caldwell


Keep promise to teachers

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin and the state legislature are again making noises about returning in 2019 to make drastic changes to the Teachers’ Retirement System, which lawmakers have robbed for many years. Recently, I was looking through some old files and found the Teachers’ Retirement System’s guide to teachers from 1966. I started teaching that year and am now retired.

“This (Teachers’ Retirement) System is of the ‘actual reserve, joint-contributory’ type. This means simply that the contributions of the members, the state and the interest earned are placed in reserve to meet the annuity obligations to members at retirement.

“This is an important and valuable difference from the pension or welfare type of program where payments depend upon the whims of a legislature body or the contributions of future members. ‘Joint contributory’ means that the employee (teacher) and the employer (state) each make contributions to provide annuities.”

The “whims of the legislature body” have about bankrupted its pension systems. (TRS is working hard to make up for that deficit.) This is a promise broken and we must never forget that.

Linda Porter


Don’t fall for ‘tax cuts’

Enough nonsense about “middle-class” tax cuts. Most recent tax cuts went to corporations and the wealthy. Politicians of all parties, incidentally, beg such sources for money to fund their campaigns. The tax cuts increased the budget deficit.

The next step in the Republican Party’s playbook will be a rediscovery of fiscal responsibility, and much hand-wringing about national debt. This becomes justification for cutting everything, including Social Security and Medicare.

On cue, Sen. Mitch McConnell has come out railing against “entitlements,” while ignoring that the cuts he and his party pushed caused the very imbalances that he now asserts will require “tough choices.” Let’s not get fooled again.

Similarly on the state level, Kentuckians are now paying taxes on all sorts of services. The revenue from these taxes, however, did not go to shoring up pensions or holding down the cost of tuition. It was offset by tax-rate cuts for the wealthy and continuing tax expenditures for all sorts of interests. The supposed “reforms” did not even cut the infamous film-making credit. Independent Kentucky filmmakers I know have never seen a cent of credit from this provision. This is no way to tend an economy.

Erik L. Lewis