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Letters: Planned Parenthood under attack

A group of activists protest in front of

A group of activists protest in front of Planned Parenthood on Fulton Avenue in Hempstead, Saturday, August 22, 2015. Credit: Steve Pfost

These past few weeks, one of our most compassionate providers of health care to those who need it most has become the victim of misguided, upsetting and politically motivated attacks ["LI groups rally against Planned Parenthood," News, Aug. 23].

Attacks on Planned Parenthood of Nassau County have reached a regrettable level and are too often lately made under the pretext of religion. Tragically, these misguided attempts to restrict much-needed support to Planned Parenthood often target women who need care most -- women of low incomes who have the least access to medical care. These attacks fail to create a safer, more accepting, more compassionate community.

The videos in question omit how deeply Planned Parenthood doctors and nurses care about their patients and the fact that they do so even in the face of hate, hostility and threats.

Clergy commit to listen carefully and confidentially when women talk. Whatever lens with which we enter into religion and leadership, we enter with love. We should not presume to make health care decisions for anyone else.

I share concern for the nation's children, families, poor, workers and senior citizens. Where I differ is that I believe that Planned Parenthood is part of the solution. I pray that all members of the faith community take this to heart, and that our legislators remember that they share the same task of helping the vulnerable women among us.

Rabbi Judy Cohen-Rosenberg, Westbury

Editor's note: The writer serves on the Concerned Clergy for Choice Advisory Board and is a rabbi at the Community Reform Temple.

I'm responding to a letter from the chief executives of Planned Parenthood in Nassau County and Hudson Peconic ["Planned P'hood essential to LI," Aug. 18]. They completely missed the issue at the heart of the movement to defund Planned Parenthood.

These undercover videos, which can be seen on the Internet, expose executives of Planned Parenthood explaining to a prospective buyer how they can preserve organs such as hearts, lungs and livers by altering the abortion procedure to make it "less crunchy" and more "intact."

These same executives also discuss dollar amounts per specimen, stating that it would have to be "worthwhile" for them.

Federal laws may have been broken, based on what's shown in these videos. It's unlawful to knowingly receive, acquire or transfer human tissue for money. Another law prohibits partial-birth abortion. The Department of Justice needs to thoroughly investigate.

Planned Parenthood receives massive amounts of taxpayer dollars. Conservative lawmakers in Congress want to force an investigation by defunding Planned Parenthood and making that money available to local women's health clinics, which perform the same services and more. This would preserve services while an investigation is done.

Planned Parenthood would like to steer the argument away from the facts. American taxpayers like me are not fooled by these tactics and are appalled this is happening.

Eileen Balcom, West Islip