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I was sorely disappointed in the subhead and concluding paragraph of Michelle Goldberg's reprinted New York Times commentary on the seemingly inevitable death of Roe v. Wade ("The death of Roe will tear America apart," Opinion Exchange, May 7). She asks, "You think we hate each other now? Just wait ... ." That kind of rhetorical framing is so irresponsible, so inflammatory and all but assures the notion that we indeed will hate each other. What a caustic, irretrievably damaging place to be ushered.

I don't hate the other side. I may think them wrong about this or that issue, but why would that invoke hatred? What problem can be solved by hating? I'm politically liberal, as are most of my friends. But I don't know anyone on this side who wants more abortions. In fact, we would love if there were zero abortions in this world. And get this: I can even understand why someone would utterly oppose abortion. So I share more common ground with a pro-lifer than either of us would be led to believe by media consumption. That nuance vanishes when we are only given the "pro-choice, anti-choice" binary.

I'm not trying to be naive; there are some nearly intractable divisions in the thinking between political camps that has led to a topsy-turvy state of politics, civility and reason in this country. But when we reinforce the notion that we all can't stand each other, that we are as tribal as oil and water, then we make it inevitable. News outlets, stop with this ridiculously binary, reductive way of presenting issues to people. You bear responsibility for this divide as much as any politician who benefits from fanning the flames of division. Do better.

Travis Anderson, Minneapolis


Whatever is said about the Supreme Court's draft opinion that would overturn Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, it is not an assault on democracy as many Democrats and media pundits are claiming. To the contrary, the decision would place the issue of terminating a pregnancy in the hands of the Congress and the legislatures of the states, both composed of individuals who owe their positions to the electorate. This is the very definition of democracy. President Joe Biden, who calls the decision "radical," understood this back in 1982, when he supported the Human Life Federalism Amendment, which would have overturned Roe in providing that "the Congress and several states shall have the concurrent power to restrict and prohibit abortions."

The president and many in the media warn that overturning Roe might lead to reversing other decisions, such as those granting the right to same-sex marriage and the right to use contraceptives. Such a result is highly unlikely, because the draft opinion states that it is concerned only with the right to abortion, "and no other rights." More importantly, abortion is the only "right" that affects the life of an innocent third party.

Ronald Haskvitz, Golden Valley


The leaked Supreme Court draft opinion is concerning on many levels. One possible outcome of the draft decision would be subtle in the short term, with vivid long-term consequences if it comes to fruition. Regardless of where one stands on abortion, we should all be concerned about the fracturing of the equality of how law is applied across our federation of states.

Dismantling Roe v. Wade would be a hollow victory for conservatives, one that is overshadowed by worsening partisanship, rancor and violent extremism. The long-term result may well be our awkward stumble back to an era of confederacy, with varying definitions of what constitutes protected civil rights across the states. The "United States of America" may not be an accurate name for this messy patchwork much longer.

Will Haugen, Minneapolis


The current uproar about the imminent overturn of Roe v. Wade and the glee on the part of some "Christian" people fails to take the following into account:

  • Most of the work done at these "abortion" clinics is not abortion. It is very often the only place many women can go for health care.
  • With no accounting for paternity, who gets to pay for these children? I would opt for immediate genetic testing of all babies born so that their male parent gets to be responsible also for child support, food, clothing, shelter, medical insurance, day care, etc.
  • What?! No exception for rape and incest victims in some of the proposed laws?! I challenge any of these hard-line men to look their daughters in the eyes and tell them that it doesn't matter that they were raped, it doesn't matter if they are victims of incest. Their only worth is in being able to bring a new life into the world, no matter the cost to them. Give me a break.

I am a 73-year-old grandmother. I have been watching the push for women's rights for most of my entire life. It is disheartening to see such little progress. It wasn't until the mid-1970s that I could have a credit card of my own. Was I not worth that risk? No, of course not. I was just a woman.

The Equal Rights Amendment never did get the requisite number of states to ratify it. What the hell are you all afraid of?

If you are so concerned about living for Jesus, how do you justify removing health choices from women, neglecting children and not providing universal health care or nutritious foods for schools? And you can look yourself in the mirror.

Thank you for letting me vent.

Pam Schroeder, Minnetonka


Something's clearly not working

If Hennepin County has 58 providers of gun-violence prevention services as stated in the article "County sees surge in gun violence" (May 9), I want to know who they are, what they do, where they're deployed, what populations they work with and what their outcomes are. It appears the money invested is going into a huge black hole, as there has been no reduction in gun violence for the past two years. We're about to experience our third summer with the numbers of gun violence victims likely higher than ever. I'm tired of hearing about all the "programs" the city and the county are funding while seeing not only no positive change but quite the opposite. Perhaps it's time to assess the efficacy of these providers and programs to determine which should stay (if any) and which should go.

Jeanne Torma, Minneapolis


I think politically indoctrinating our kids from a tender age is a great idea, so I was happy to see such a glowing endorsement of Minnesota author Ty Chapman's new anti-racist picture book "Sarah Rising" in Saturday's edition. Only I thought the book's messaging was slightly off, so I was inspired to start work on a politicized picture book of my own. Here's a sample of the dialogue:

Q: "Daddy, is it true that the police are racist?"

A: "Well, honey ... no. While it's true that police sometimes kill Black people, it's also true that they sometimes kill white people. In fact, the police kill more white people than Black people. But no matter what your race is, the odds of getting shot or killed by a police officer are very, very low, and the odds of getting killed by a police officer if you aren't fighting them or carrying a weapon is almost negligible (a word which here means so, so rare that we should worry about other things). See, honey, the sad fact of the matter is that, in nearly every case, the police don't want to kill anyone, but lose control of the situation and fire to protect their own safety, out of a rational fear of being shot themselves."

Now, I know some will say that this isn't very child-friendly. But I beg to differ. Kids are too-often underestimated; most are capable of comprehending more nuance than we give them credit for. If only the same could be said for the many outspoken progressives of Minneapolis.

Tucker Smith, St. Cloud