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It is astounding to me that reproductive and fertility care and the desire to have children still seem to perceived as a luxury lifestyle choice when our bodies are consistently reminding us, with obvious physicality, of their function to procreate. If any other organ fails, insurance will cover its care, but for some reason one of the most vital components of our identity is considered to be on par with taking an exotic vacation or buying a Tesla.

Beyond this, the assumptions about IVF's effect on insurance has been debunked. Rates generally do not go up since women opt for IVF sooner rather than later, thus decreasing the risk of being a geriatric pregnant person. Providers also tend to only transfer one embryo instead of two, which means less of a likelihood of a multiple pregnancy and premature birth, which can land babies in the NICU for weeks.

Infertility takes a significant toll on one's mental health. Children are not commodities, and procreating is a basic human function and desire! If insurance companies cover erection dysfunction care because it has to do with quality of life, why not infertility treatment?

Melody Heide, Minneapolis


The Feb. 27 edition of the Star Tribune included two letters about IVF ("This is totally unworkable," Readers Write). Both imply or use some faulty logic. One states that "A majority of fertilized human eggs fail to implant in the uterus. Are women in Alabama going to be prosecuted for flushing these 'human beings' away?" Is that a serious question? Because the answer is quite obvious. We do not prosecute people for acts of nature. We never blame the mother for a miscarriage of her baby. Pro-abortion people throw the idea out there that women are going to be subject to prosecution for miscarriage if we outlaw abortion because, medically, a miscarriage is referred to as a spontaneous abortion. No rational person would support that, because the women did not do anything to cause the miscarriage and so there is no culpability.

The other letter tries to diminish the personhood of the embryo because "it's literally a part of her body." That is not true, either scientifically or philosophically. The embryo is a separate being by DNA, and while it is inside the woman's womb and dependent on the woman, the embryo is not a part of the women's body. The embryo will leave. This same writer proposes that because the embryo cannot survive without being inside the "supportive container" of the womb, it is not an individual. I submit that we all need a "supportive container" to survive, no matter how much of a "functioning individual" we are. At minimum we need clothing, if not an actual shelter, to protect us from the extremes of weather.

Further on, he states the embryo is like a "bud" or "special organ" because the embryo is dependent, and there isn't "any kind of normal 'arm's length' relationship between two separate 'people.'" Again, based on science, the embryo is in no way an "organ" of the mother's body. And yes, the relationship between embryo and mother is a "normal" relationship. This is how procreation works for human beings, as well as other mammals. Just because it is one type or phase of relationship does not make it abnormal.

Finally, the writer comments that people who oppose abortion based on their religion don't have the right to force their belief on others. But we do have the right to express our opinions and try to convince others of what is true and good.

Leo H. Martin, Minneapolis


This headline was recently posted on CNN: "Migrant children in open-air desert camps are suffering from hunger and hypothermia, court documents say."

Instead of spending time, money and energy on saving embryos that may or may not survive or even come to full life, let's worry about the children who are here already. Let's make laws and public policy that ensure that every living child is fed, clothed and safe. We are being distracted by issues that are far less important than the children who are in peril every day.

Linda Maki, Excelsior


Actually, it's a fundamental right

A letter writer in the Feb. 29 "Readers Write" scoffs at anyone "suggesting that religious freedom is more important than respect for LGBTQ inclusion in school curricula" ("Learning is not infringement").

A short review of the First Amendment shows that one of those things is enshrined in law, and the other is not. I think that demonstrates pretty clearly which is more important.

Catherine Walker, Minneapolis


Hamas is evil. So is this policy.

I can no longer abide, as a lifelong Democrat, the Biden administration's policy on the Mideast war. I understand the threat of Hamas to Israel; I understand that Islamic terrorists commit horrific crimes against Israelis, and would, if capable, eliminate Israel. I absolutely support the right of Israel to exist and thrive — but not to commit war crimes against the innocent. I understand Hamas hides behind civilians and shows no more concern for Palestinians that the Israelis do at this point. Hamas is evil.

But we must show concern for Palestine civilians, even those who believed that Hamas protected them. Morally, we must protect the innocent whose lives depended on acquiescence to terrorists.

We must cut off all aid to Israel until the Netanyahu administration resigns, and there is a permanent cease-fire. I understand that evil Hamas may take advantage of this to regroup. But while it does that, we can negotiate with Arab friends about how we intend to support Palestine, and them, if they decry Hamas and unite against nations that support terrorism. The most powerful Arab nations do not benefit from Muslim terrorism. We need to threaten aid to or commerce with Arab allies who are noncommittal about terrorism.

President John F. Kennedy took a huge risk during the Cuban missile crisis, that his actions could have begun another world war. It was a risk, no doubt. But risks must be balanced by the severity of alternatives.

President Barack Obama stated correctly, in my opinion, that the unsurpassed might of the American military is valuable only for our ability to negotiate peace and to promote stability in the world. We must use that might now, go ahead, risk wider war and make it clear it will be devastating to the military force of Muslim terrorists as well as the countries that support them.

If our military power is not a force for balance and justice in the world, then let's just throw in the towel and revert to the wild west of global chaos, as President Donald Trump's policies would have us do. It's like the good-cop, bad-cop scenario. We can be a bad cop as we have in the past, or a good cop protecting and serving as we have claimed our role to be. But we can't pretend to be no cop. We have the power, for better or worse. Let's start to use it for better.

Susan Abdallah Lane, Minneapolis


When is it enough? When will Israel have killed, maimed and starved enough people, destroyed enough homes, ruined enough families?

For years, the U.S. has looked the other way as Israel flouts United Nations resolutions, continues to build illegal settlements, and responds disproportionately to attacks. Our silence is sealed with blind allegiance to an ally, a dose of Islamophobia, and fear of being labeled antisemitic for daring to stand up to a rogue bully.

This latest retaliatory tantrum from Israel is an assault to the conscience of anybody who still has one ("Israelis fire at crowd, dozens die in chaos," March 1).

Of course Palestine is not blameless. Hamas is a terrorist organization. The attack on Israel of Oct. 7 was itself a vile and cowardly shock to the conscience. Hamas needs to be eradicated. That should have been the goal of Palestine, Israel and other countries. But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has only strengthened Hamas, up to the point he decided to destroy not just that group, but every inch of Palestine, condemning the innocent with the guilty.

Sadly, the U.S. is no longer united in its resolve to check illegal or immoral aggression in the world, whether that be in Israel/Palestine, Russia/Ukraine or elsewhere.

Ben Seymour, Minneapolis