Terms confuse abortion debate
Columnist Cathy Young is to be commended for trying to raise the level of discourse on the issue of abortion [“A different take on abortion debate,” Opinion, April 13]. I think one difficulty she doesn’t address is the use of the terms “pro-life” and “pro-choice.” These terms obfuscate the thought of people on the issue.
A pro-life person also considers choice important when talking about life in the womb. The same can be said of a pro-choice person who values the life of the mother. We need to come up with new terminology to account for the way people talk about abortion.
The other problem I have is with Young’s use of the word human when she says “most of our social norms don’t treat a fetus as a full human.”
It’s good to recall that the Nazis put to death 6 million Jews and millions of other people they considered not to be fully human. So we need to ask, when is a person a full human? Are people living with some physical or mental impairment full humans?
Maybe opening the debate to these questions can get us closer to the truth.
Bernard Zablocki, Ridgewood
Climate change has health consequences
One of the reasons for the epidemic of tick-borne infections on Long Island might be higher temperatures [“Tick infections soar on LI,” News, April 13]. Studies have indicated that the geographical range of ticks is expanding because of climate change.
Warming trends might also increase the egg production and population density of ticks. Blacklegged ticks, or deer ticks, which carry Lyme disease, remain active as long as the temperature is above freezing.
So often we hear about wildfires, drought, severe weather and higher sea levels being associated with climate change, but there are many health concerns. These include not only vector-borne diseases like tick-related illnesses, but also respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.
It’s critically important to educate the public on the impacts of climate change on our health.
Barbara Kurek, East Islip
Editor’s note: The writer is a member of Citizens’ Climate Lobby, an advocacy organization.
Why should all PSEG customers pay?
Baldwin resident Marian Goldstein was certainly justified in feeling a sense of triumph in her case against PSEG Long Island [“Big win in PSEG claim,” News, April 17].
A Nassau County judge ruled in favor of her claim that she was entitled to compensation for damages to home electrical equipment after a surge due to company negligence. She’s entirely justified in her view that it adds insult to injury that the cost of the $5,000-plus settlement will be borne by ratepayers, including herself.
Simple fairness would suggest that the costs be reflected as a reduction in the allowable return to which a regulated public utility is entitled. Or, perhaps they should be deducted from the pay of senior management.
Of course, it’s understandable that severe weather can interrupt delivery of electricity. Under those circumstances, utilities sometimes compensate customers for food spoilage and other consequences.
In this case, however, it’s unfair to require that the entire customer base contribute to the settlement.
Robert I. Adler, Port Washington
U.S. risks entering a wider war in Syria
Even before the arrival of experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to investigate the possible chemical attack on civilians in Syria — and to determine who was responsible — President Donald Trump, with the leaders of France and Britain, ordered bombing in that nation [“Warning on gas attacks,” News, April 15].
This use of military force will have dire consequences for the people of Syria. The risks of a wider war are extremely dangerous for the United States and the region.
Congress must hold the Trump administration to account. Our Constitution states that only Congress has the power to authorize war, not the president. The people must make their voices heard and speak out against war.
Margaret Melkonian, Uniondale