The Star Tribune's May 3 editorial ("Cooperation yields results at the Capitol") "applauds" the decision by Republican Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller not to hold confirmation votes on Gov. Tim Walz's commissioners during the current legislative session. That's a welcome relief, because Republicans had threatened to oust Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm despite her fine work on COVID. As the Star Tribune itself reported on Oct. 31, 2021, Republican Jim Abeler and "more members of the Senate GOP have been talking openly about the possibility of rejecting Malcolm — including new Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller."
I'm glad Miller changed his mind, because there was never any basis in fact to even talk about depriving Minnesotans of Malcolm's sterling work. It seems to me, though, that we're setting the bar pretty low when we commend someone, as the Editorial Board commends Miller, for withdrawing a threat that should never have been made.
Steven Schild, Winona, Minn.
The front-page article reporting an "agreement celebrated Monday" marking "the biggest accomplishment so far this legislative session" — the pandemic pay deal for essential workers — was more than just disappointing ("Walz signs pandemic pay deal," May 3). It is an outrage that our representatives could find "reasonable" a compromise with a paltry $750 one-time bonus payment to these loyal and dedicated Minnesotans who risked their lives, their health and their families' health to provide essential services to all of us for more than a year. A month's rent? Replenishing savings? It's particularly galling coming from Minnesota senators who receive a $2,000 per month housing allowance and $86 per diem for every day the Legislature is in session. The average monthly rent for a 778-square-foot apartment in Minneapolis is $1,621.
If this is the best compromise our legislators can achieve, which "took much longer than any of us had hoped for," said Miller, it does not bode well for our state as the Legislature moves into other negotiations.
This is a moral slap in the face to the thousands of Minnesotans who put their lives on the line to support their neighbors through an extraordinarily difficult time. Shame on you all.
Adele Evidon, Minneapolis
Lifesaving and life-giving
Thirty-nine years ago a doctor gave the crushing news that my first pregnancy was ectopic. At 13 weeks old, the fetus was growing outside the uterus and could not survive. My life was in danger as well from an imminent rupture. With my permission I was whisked into surgery that very day. The post-surgical report listed the procedure as an abortion.
Life went on, and I eventually gave birth to two strong and wise daughters. They, in turn, have gifted me with two beautiful grandchildren, and another on the way. This adds up to six lives made possible by one legal abortion. Thanks to Roe v. Wade, I could say: my body, my life, my choice. Banning abortions will send echoes of destroyed possibilities far into the future.
Laurel Regan, Rochester
The nearing reality of Roe v. Wade being overturned is an undeniable victory for this country. When I was 7 months old, I was adopted from South Korea into my loving family. My two other adopted siblings and I were blessed with an opportunistic upbringing that allowed us to chase after our dreams.
The unfortunate reality is that there are many that are not given that same chance. The overturning of Roe. v Wade would not only protect the life of the unborn but upholds the country's vital tenets of opportunity and liberty. The systematic killing of unborn fetuses for the purposes of dealing with the inconveniences of an unexpected pregnancy unconditionally undercuts the very vital tenets of opportunity and liberty that make America the greatest country on earth.
The conversation around pregnancy crisis centers, foster care and adoption needs to be elevated because, just as my birth mother concluded when she was pregnant with me, there are alternatives to terminating a pregnancy. You simply cannot advocate a message of equality if you are unwilling to give the precious life inside the womb an equitable chance to live. I have been able to attend an elite military college playing Division I football, work on Capitol Hill and live a life of chasing after my dreams. I am the result of an abortion not happening, and Roe v. Wade being overturned would finally give others the chance at a life of opportunity, too.
Jimmy Murphy, Golden Valley
I'd like to see an effort to dampen the hysteria over the likely overturning of Roe v. Wade. Despite my religious affiliation, like the president, my personal belief is that some access to abortion is necessary. Maybe it isn't necessary for the entirety of pregnancy. When Justice Harry Blackmun authored the opinion in Roe, it lacked any real substantive foundation in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. It was judicial policymaking, to put it bluntly.
Yet no one favoring all abortion, all the time has a persuasive argument that a not-yet-born person at every stage of gestation has no right or standing whatever. The argument gets lost because the topic is bound up in the just cause of feminism, women's rights, bodily control. Sadly, Roe did little to settle this extreme dispute. It seemed only to provoke all the intense contest everywhere we look. Isn't the reality that abortion use has dwindled? Suppose some states adopt laws that maintain the right to have an abortion, but in fact shorten the time frame, long enough so that a pregnant woman has time to learn she is pregnant, then reflect what she wishes to do. And, hey, well, there is another life interest. Most people think (I believe) that little life has existence and beauty at some point along the spectrum of pregnancy.
People on the Supreme Court steps, megaphones in hand, shouting at one another, demonstrate the need to breathe and think critically about moderate solutions. Politicians who whip the flames, authorizing strangers to sue doctors and medical professionals and get their legal fees, etc., deserve withering criticism for their total insensitivity to figuring out something more people can live with.
Tom Olson, St. Louis Park
On May 4 and 5, the Star Tribune published 13 letters about abortion. Arguments generally featured the social and legal ramifications of the issue. As always, I appreciate the Star Tribune's efforts at a balanced approach. Even so, missing in the letters were arguments about the most basic question: Just when does human life itself begin? Some readers might argue viability at a certain number of weeks, some might draw a line at first detectable heartbeat, others might say when the cord is cut, and so on. I think — not just believe — that human life begins at conception. It's the most transformative moment during the beginnings in life. Other beginnings, with the possible exception of cutting the cord, are typically more gradual or variable and not as easily determined with exactness.
I do believe in choice — especially when I'm making it for myself and not for someone else. We have an essential problem. If a fetus is human, and it's killed through an elective abortion, someone else made that decision for him or her. So the overriding priority becomes not what's right for the person and body that carries the fetus, but what's right for the fetus' body. Once it's dead, that human will never have any choice for anything. Ever.
Jim Bartos, Maple Grove