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Readers' Letters

If you value freedom, then register to vote

America is all about liberty. No other word is more closely associated with the idea of America as the word “liberty.”

The Liberty Bell is engraved with a passage taken from Leviticus: “ ... proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants.”

Every U.S. coin bears the word “liberty.” The word liberty is found in the pledge: “ ... with liberty and justice, for all.” It is foremost in our founding documents.

The Declaration of Independence states: “ ... all men are created equal ... endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights ... Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

In the preamble to the Constitution, one of the stated purposes of the document was: “ ... to secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity ... “

The Declaration states liberty is unalienable, a God-given right. Flowing out of the Declaration, the Constitution established a certain kind of government (republic) to “secure the Blessings of Liberty.”

According to the founders, and Lincoln agreed, if the people do not control the government, the government will control the people.

We have the power of the vote and we have the right to use that power to preserve liberty “for ourselves and for our posterity.”

When Benjamin Franklin appeared in public at the end of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, it is said a woman asked him, “What have you given us, a republic or a monarchy?”

Mr. Franklin replied, “A republic, madam — if you can keep it.”

Register to vote if you would keep it.

Allan Erickson

Newberg

Meek for clerk

I am withdrawing my candidacy for the office of Clackamas County clerk in the primary election.

My reasons are straightforward: I am endorsing the candidacy of Mark Meek, a very capable businessman, community leader and fellow veteran.

I have known him for several years and am confident he will do a superb job.

Of those remaining in the race, Mark is the superior candidate.

He is smart, knowledgeable, manages a detail-oriented business and is known for his integrity and hard work.

Mark’s 20 years in the community and related public service are above reproach.

He is the best person for the job.

Cyndi Lewis-Wolfram

Clackamas

Abortion access makes for healthier population

I’m writing in response to Shelby Bennett’s misleading letter about the services provided by Planned Parenthood (“I must speak about abortion” March 13).

For nearly a century, Planned Parenthood has provided health care to prevent unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. Here in Clackamas, more than 95 percent of its services involve lifesaving cancer screenings, birth control, Pap tests, STD treatment, vasectomies, menopause information and sexual health education.

One in five women will turn to Planned Parenthood at some point in her life for professional, nonjudgmental and confidential care. By replacing fear with facts, misinformation with education, Planned Parenthood protects teens and helps parents who don’t know how to talk to their kids about sexual health.

When a woman is trying to make the extremely difficult, deeply personal medical decision about whether to end a pregnancy, she deserves accurate medical information about all her options. The last thing she needs is to be emotionally manipulated. Bennett’s letter contains junk science about a link between abortion and breast cancer that simply does not exist. The truth is, study after study has shown increased access to safe, legal abortion is linked to better physical and mental health; decreased levels of poverty and abuse; and improved economic outcomes both for the woman and for society as a whole.

Planned Parenthood does more than any other organization to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and keep women healthy. If people like Bennett truly want to reduce unintended pregnancies, they would work with Planned Parenthood to increase access to affordable birth control and comprehensive sex education.

Bennett says she cares about the women and children of Oregon. As a grandmother and volunteer for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon, I care too. I also care about accuracy and adherence to truth.

Joan Hamilton

Oak Grove




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