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Newsday letters to the editor Tuesday, May 16, 2017

NYS Parks deputy regional director George Gorman speaks

NYS Parks deputy regional director George Gorman speaks about the erosion at the Gilgo State Park, Thursday, April 20, 2017. The concrete structure used to be covered in sand. Credit: Steve Pfost

Abortion and the health care debate

Anne Michaud’s column “New concern about women’s health” [Opinion, May 5] is based on a number of false premises.

She writes that women have a “right to reproductive health.” However, there is no such right mentioned anywhere by the Founding Fathers or in the U.S Constitution.

She also states that denying government funds to Planned Parenthood would prevent poor women from seeking health care there.

Millions of pro-life feminists would argue that by providing abortions, Planned Parenthood actually destroys the fruits of reproduction and harms not only women’s physical health but their emotional and psychological health as well.

Michaud embarrasses herself by implying that proposed changes to Obamacare would leave women powerless pawns of a totalitarian government bent on promoting fertility.

Women are hardly powerless when it comes to their reproductive lives. Aside from rape, no one has deprived them of the right to say yes or no to sex. No one says they cannot seek birth control through a doctor if they have insurance or at a clinic if they do not.

Carol Sefick, East Meadow

Reading Anne Michaud’s response to the health care legislation passed by the House of Representatives, one might think that the president, Republican lawmakers and millions of voters oppose women’s health care.

Michaud touts Planned Parenthood’s many services to women, not mentioning that one primary “care” provided by that organization is abortion.

No mention is made of the many organizations that provide health services for women, excluding abortion. No mention is made of the right to life of the unborn, or the millions of citizens, including women, who speak on behalf of that right.

We are witnessing the support for part of the “progressive” agenda relentlessly pushed by the two coasts in this country. Apparently those in the middle live according to values that no longer hold. Fortunately, we have a new U.S. Supreme Court justice who, we hope, will give some voice to the unborn in the hallowed halls of our government.

Bernard Zablocki, Ridgewood

Cuomo should help at Gilgo State Park

I can’t believe that Gilgo State Park will be closed again indefinitely to vehicles [“No-drive zone,” News, April 22].

Thousands of 4-wheel-drive enthusiasts, fishers and surfers used this beach in the past. Because of erosion, this summer it will be open only to fishers and surfers who park elsewhere. I’m an avid fisherman concerned about our recreational areas.

It seems the problem is the entrance to the beach. Maybe the Coast Guard should be responsible for the abandoned Coast Guard Station. You just don’t walk away and not clean up your mess at a state park.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, with his recreational fishing, seems to focus on upstate New York. Long Island should not be forgotten.

Gus George, Massapequa

Appalled at handling of Kellenberg case

According to Newsday, a 12-year-old girl “endured weeks of sexually themed verbal harassment” and groping by two boys at Kellenberg Memorial High School [“Response criticized,” News, May 8].

The school’s handbook is said to list “immoral conduct” and “disrespect” as “major offenses against Christian morality and will not be tolerated by school authorities.” Big words, powerful words!

Yet the boys who allegedly harassed and then assaulted the girl were given only a two-day suspension? They should have been expelled.

I’m a retired teacher who taught in Catholic and public schools, and I’m appalled with the cavalier manner in which the school handled this situation. I was further incensed by the response of the diocese, which refused the family’s request to meet and discuss the situation with Bishop John Barres. Kellenberg is not a diocesan school, but it is still under the authority of the local bishop.

The request to speak with the bishop was “denied because of the referral to the prosecutors.” The bishop will not speak to the family because members exercised their rights in pursuing legal recourse for their child? I’m surprised and enraged.

Marie Neil, Huntington

As a parent of a former Kellenberg Memorial High School student, it broke my heart to read about the school’s response to an assault that took place there. How can this school really think that two days’ suspension is adequate?

It’s also sad to read that this young lady will no longer attend the school, yet these boys are free to enjoy the good education the school has to offer.

If the Catholic Church wonders why young people are turning their backs, this is one reason. They see the church as an unsafe place. Kellenberg had the chance to teach students the meaning of respect, but the school seems to have chosen to view it as no big deal.

I’m one parent who will no longer support the school.

Gerard Boettcher, West Hempstead