Letters to the Editor

All those weekly articles written in Spanish in the Houston Press should give your editors a clue as to how many of your readers speak and read Spanish as a primary language. Surely the advertisers in your paper would prefer a completely Spanish format. Unquestionably, those same illegal migrants you championed understand and embrace fully the humor behind The City, This Modern World, Red Meat and Partially Clips, and they each desperately need to know where to find a full-body massage from a Samoan transsexual in liquid latex.

Were the Houston Press actually the journalistic entity it believes and portrays itself to be, it would leave its assumptions of bigotry behind and write an investigative report detailing the U.S. federal government's creative figures that come out every quarter vs. the actual influx of new illegals from south of the border during the same time period. There are simply not enough jobs, nor public funds, to support current U.S. citizens, current legal immigrants and current illegal colonists.

Though problematic, Chris Baker may be more prophetic than you can possibly imagine come May 1, 2006.

B. Floodbart
Houston

Just Ad Anger

Hate is hate: I can't believe you printed that disgusting ad for American Life League [page 19, April 20]. What were you thinking? You wouldn't print an ad from Holocaust deniers, would you? Why would you print an ad accusing Planned Parenthood of genocide? You don't have to like Planned Parenthood or abortion to know that this ad stinks. Whose life is improved by its appearance? Hate is hate, in whatever venue. Shame on you.

Carole Marmell
Houston

Smearing Sanger: Planned Parenthood does more than any other organization to ensure women and families have access to the quality health care and information they need to make responsible, informed decisions about family planning. Each year we provide nearly five million women, men and teens with medically accurate sex education and reproductive health care and information. In 2005, people across Houston and throughout southeast Texas turned to us for health care in 106,000 visits for birth control, emergency contraception, breast and cervical cancer screenings, HIV testing and counseling, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections and more.

On April 20 your newspaper printed an advertisement from a fringe operation whose main goal is to eliminate women's access to birth control and reproductive health care by attacking Planned Parenthood and our founder, Margaret Sanger.

Extreme groups will employ every ludicrous tactic in the book to achieve their goals, including attempts to paint our founder as a racist.

In her lifetime, Sanger urged women to use contraceptives so that they would not have to risk the dangers of illegal, back-alley abortion. She condemned the American eugenics movement for advocating that the state, not women themselves, decide who must have children and who must not. She never advocated using birth control for racist goals. In fact, Sanger worked closely with other social justice leaders of her time and believed that a woman's right to control her own body is the foundation of her human rights. She collaborated with health care providers in the African-American community to serve women who were denied access to their city's health and social services simply because of their race. Her visionary work won the respect of international figures of all races and nationalities, including the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.; Mahatma Gandhi; Shidzue Kato, the foremost family planning advocate in Japan; and Lady Dhanvanthi Rama Rau of India.

It's shameful that anti-family-planning extremists have targeted Sanger, who died decades ago, with their smear campaign. If the extremists behind this attack ad were truly concerned with reducing the need for abortion in any community, they would stand with Planned Parenthood to keep families healthy and help prevent unintended pregnancies. It is proven that access to contraception and medically accurate sex education protects women and families. Vitriolic attack ads have never done that.

Peter J. Durkin
President & CEO, Planned Parenthood of Houston and Southeast Texas, Inc.

Correction

The April 13 feature, "Horse Flesh," misspelled the name of Kathleen Hofferty, a nurse who attended a Magnolia horse auction. Hofferty is the founder of Ipswich Equine Rescue.

The Houston Press regrets the error.

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