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Taking issue with an article

Taking issue with an article

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I need to respond to the recent biased article by Maria Sestito “Demonstrators at Napa's Planned Parenthood have contrasting views” (Feb. 12).

First, let’s talk about the “pro-life” label used throughout the article. This is the wrong label. Since 1973, U.S. law has allowed women the right to elective abortion – the right to choose. And prior to this ruling, 5,000 women died each year from unsafe abortions. This group does not like the law and wants to repeal it.

They are not “pro-life”, they are “anti-choice” and “anti-abortion.” They want to remove my rights, my daughter’s rights, my neighbor’s rights – every woman’s rights in this country – and around the world. They want to impose their religious beliefs on all women. They do not care how many women die. If they are “pro” anything, you could say they are pro-Christian Sharia Law. So, please use the proper label.

The article refers to the anti-choice group as a “rally.” The article refers to the pro-choice defenders as “armed with their own signs.” Notice the choice of words here – the anti-choice people were “rallying” and the pro-choice people came “armed.” The article mentions “several dozen… quietly holding signs and praying” while the pro-choice defenders were “less contained than the pro-life rally, the counter-protesters occasionally spilled off the sidewalk and into the street…”

Again, consider word choice: the anti-choice group “quietly” holding signs and “praying” versus the “less contained” pro-choice defenders “spilling off the sidewalk.”

Although the article mentioned that “horns honked for nearly an hour,” it did not mention the one anti-choice older white male protester out in the street with a sign asking people to honk (with no success), while the horns were loud and frequent for the pro-choice defenders – without prompting.

The detail that the anti-choice crowd wore red to match their “Stop abortion now” signs is not countered with the fact that there was a sea of pink across the street standing with Planned Parenthood. The image choice is also unbalanced and slanted. The anti-choice images include children and men, but the pro-choice images do not show the many children, babies and men that were present.

It’s also important to note that no one from Planned Parenthood was interviewed.

The anti-choice signs were professionally printed and standardized (who funded these signs?) while the pro-choice signs were hand-made. The most common anti-choice sign was “Planned Parenthood LIES to You” which is, in itself, a lie.

On the flip side, was “Defund Planned Parenthood”, pushing the magical claim that this would save taxpayers money. This group refuses facts: no taxes are used to fund abortion and Planned Parenthood provides cost-effective health services to an underserved population and reduces unwanted pregnancies, which in turn, reduces abortion.

The truth is that abortion is legal - saving women's lives, no one is forcing any woman to have an abortion, and no taxes fund abortion – by law. I respect your choice, but you need to respect mine. My choice of religion is also protected by our constitution – one of the key reasons for founding the U.S.A. Don’t force your beliefs on me. My body, my choice. Your body, your choice.

Sally Archambault

Napa

Editor's note: As with most news organizations, it is the policy of the Register to use the preferred self-descriptions of both sides, thus the labels "pro-life" and "pro-choice" rather than such generally pejorative descriptors as "anti-choice" or "pro-abortion."

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