Letters to the editor: Issues with 'pro-life' description; the obesity problem

The dishonesty of ‘pro-life’ term

Re: Dan Darling’s Sept. 24 guest column, “How GOP can handle abortion politics”:

Dan Darling carefully avoids using the hackneyed term, “pro-life.” Maybe he recognizes the brilliant dishonesty of that characterization — dishonesty, because most of its users apply it solely to the abortion issue, and by doing so, intend to imply that people who disagree with them must be anti-life.

Instead, Mr. Darling uses phrases like “champion life,” “on the side of life,” “advocate for life,” and “support life.”

Because I am honestly pro-life, I believe that we need stronger government programs to help meet the nutritional, housing and educational needs of the poor, especially children; that the death penalty is wrong; that we need stronger government regulations to protect us from unsafe food, drugs, and other products; that fighting climate change is an increasingly critical need; that everyone should have access to high-quality, affordable medical care; and that abortion should be safe, legal, and readily accessible, like other medical services, and restricted only by the decisions of women and their doctors.

Many people who call themselves “pro-life” disagree with me on most or all of those issues, which exposes the dishonesty of their claim to be truly pro-life.

Maybe Mr. Darling thinks that by avoiding the phrase “pro-life,” he is hiding how extreme his position is, and how out of step he is with American women and with those of us who support their reproductive rights. Let’s stop letting anti-abortion, anti-choice extremists get away with pretending to be advocates for life.

Gregory A. Morgan, Ventura

Need to address obesity problem

Re: Dr. Loh’s Sept. 25 column, “A cardiovascular risk factor update”:

Kudos to Dr. Loh for his efforts in preventing heart disease and raising concern to its risk factors, now including lack of adequate sleep to the forefront.

As I read the list of risk factors including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity and overweight, smoking, lack of physical activity, gender, heredity, age, and now lack of sleep, it becomes apparent that some of these are within our control, others are not, but only one can’t be discussed without the speaker being considered intolerant: obesity.

It’s time we address this “elephant in the room” and instead of glamorizing this well-known risk factor we need to be addressing it the same way we have addressed smoking and excessive use of alcohol, by not de-glamorizing it and making it a source of pride. Of course, it should be dealt with as a disease, the same way we address the aforementioned, especially alcoholism, but let’s stop making obesity a badge of pride, but rather a dangerous lifestyle that does cause dramatic health risks and even death.

John Goodman, Oak Park

This article originally appeared on Ventura County Star: Letters: Issues with 'pro-life' description; the obesity problem