As strong right-to-life supporters, we were aghast and alarmed after watching the recent undercover video that strongly suggests that Planned Parenthood is utilizing aborted fetuses for financial gain.

In it, the senior director of medical services at the Planned Parenthood Federation of America talked about the organization’s participation in tissue donation programs, and also the price ranges charged “per specimen.”

She also described how they are able to harvest targeted organs from a fetus, saying, “We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.”

Whether or not you are for or against legalized abortion, there is one simple fact that cannot be ignored: Selling fetal body parts is a serious violation of federal law. This video shows it is now time for our state to ensure that the law is being followed.

We are calling on Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson to follow the lead of Congress, as well as the states of Louisiana and Texas, into calling for an investigation of Planned Parenthood to determine whether or not the alleged practice of selling fetal body parts is occurring in our state and if any laws have been broken.

As a “family planning” organization, Planned Parenthood receives millions of dollars from the taxpayers in order to help provide its “services,” so it is entirely reasonable for the attorney general’s office to do some digging and find out if the organization has performed any illegal activity.

For those of us who fight tirelessly for the rights of the unborn, it has always been difficult to comprehend why your tax dollars are being sent to facilities that perform abortions. Couple that with the allegation that it could also be selling the body parts of an unborn child for profit, and we are truly nauseated and aggrieved.

Let’s get to the bottom of this. An investigation into Planned Parenthood in Minnesota will either clear its name or force our state government to take some needed action. We call on Swanson to act quickly.

This letter was signed by the following Republican Minnesota legislators: Rep. Kathy Lohmer, Rep. Abigail Whelan, Rep. Tim Miller, Rep. Jim Nash, Rep. Eric Lucero, Sen. Roger Chamberlin, Rep. Tama Theis, Rep. Mary Franson, Rep. Duane Quam, Rep. Jeff Backer, Rep. Cindy Pugh, Rep. Steve Drazkowski, Rep. Jim Newberger, Rep. Peggy Scott, Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen, Rep. Dave Hancock and Rep. Dennis Smith.


It all stinks. It could be better. Wait — under federal control?

While state Rep. Greg Davids’ commentary “Why we don’t need to keep a failed MNsure” (July 16) is an indictment of MNsure, it glosses over the rationale for having a state program. While he refers to Obamacare’s “sloppy construction” as the cause for the state program, it should be noted that, until a very recent U.S. Supreme Court decision, MNsure was the result of a reading of the Affordable Care Act as it was written, and according to tapings for comments by one of the ACA’s alleged designers, Jonathan Gruber, as it was intended to be implemented. I remember that Mr. Gruber was active in advising Minnesota in the state’s early efforts, so this understanding of the law seems consistent. Health care tax credits were not to be available unless coming through a state agency.

Now to health care costs: I recall $1 billion being spent on the federal website construction. Davids refers to Minnesota’s “$200 million new state agency and failed website.” If 36 states have opted for the federally built website, that means that 13 states besides Minnesota have spent some amount of money to qualify for tax credits. The underlying point being that somewhere north of $1.2 billion dollars has been spent on health care without treating the first patient. And yet I’ve heard President Obama saying that the ACA is working better than expected and that the health care cost curve is slowing.

We continue to intentionally miss the point. While each of us can probably name somebody who has benefited from the ACA, it was proposed and passed with the mission of insuring 34 million people who purportedly could not get insurance (everyone who wasn’t already insured) and to save those currently insured an average of $2,500 annually. It had two goals, missed both miserably, and it is a failure.

Paul Kemmy, Minnetonka

• • •

While Davids makes a number of very fine suggestions as to how a health care exchange for Minnesota can be improved, his proposal to turn the responsibility of MNsure over to the federal government’s oversight is wrong in the most basic way possible for Minnesotans. The simple reason is that the Republicans who now control Congress have voted, by one recent count, 54 times for the total and complete repeal of Obamacare. With that undeniably being the case, it makes no sense at all to turn over the job of improving Obamacare to a Republican congressional majority in Washington absolutely committed to getting rid of the program altogether.

That being said, in reading Davids’ piece I saw much that was valid and much that would benefit from further discussion. What was clear enough to me is that instead of turning the issues of health care to a remote and hostile Congress, what we need is for our own Minnesota legislators of all parties, Rep. Davids among them, to turn aside their party differences and work together to continue the work of improving the quality of health care and health insurance, areas in which Minnesota already leads the nation. If we do that, there is no doubt in my mind that we can find powerful solutions, far superior to anything we could hope to see come out of Washington.

Jon Miners, Crystal

• • •

Davids is not alone among Republican legislators in embracing eliminating state-run exchanges. While I have not studied the issue enough to have a well-formed opinion on its merits, I find it refreshing that we have Republican leaders who believe that there are times when the federal government in Washington has the best solutions to problems, and that local control is not always best.

Dan Solarz, Minneapolis



Violence on our soil, yet again

Another sneak attack taking the lives of four Marines. Not in Benghazi, but on U.S. soil. Whether the shooter in Chattanooga, Tenn., was an Islamic terrorist or a homegrown psychopath, once again American lives are lost because of some fool with a temper and a large-capacity gun. And down in Texas, the paranoid right has armed itself because of its crazy fears of U.S. military “taking over” the country at President Obama’s direction. If I were part of this planned military exercise, I’d be mighty nervous. What can we do? Fortify our recruiting stations?

This kind of “collateral damage” is exactly what comes every day because people who shouldn’t have guns can easily obtain them and fortify themselves with hundreds of rounds of ammo. Aren’t we well past the time in this country to take measures to protect us citizens from ourselves? Until we do, literally no one is safe.

Joel Stegner, Edina