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Mailbag: Protect Planned Parenthood, women's rights

March 16, 2011

We face a frontal assault by many in Congress on every woman's right to determine her own destiny and to access basic reproductive health-care services. Broad access to essential health care and preventive services, like breast health care, cervical cancer screenings, birth control and more are at risk.

Why? Because a growing number of our elected representatives don't respect or trust women. They will tell you it is to save money, but defunding Planned Parenthood and family planning services will lead to more unintended pregnancies, more abortions, more families with nowhere else to turn and much higher costs. Every public dollar spent on family planning services actually saves $4 in future costs — and saves our communities from higher rates of sexually transmitted infections, undetected cancer and other preventable health issues.

I believe we have reached a tipping point where the threat to all of us who truly value our freedom and our humanity, regardless of our political affiliation, compels us to act. Women across America have expressed their support for Planned Parenthood by signing petitions, calling their senators and sending their personal stories to Congress.

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Write, call or e-mail your senators, whether they are for or against the budget cuts and policy amendments that would eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood. Tell them to trust and respect women. Help strengthen our friends' voices in the Senate, and help persuade the others that these shameful actions are not in their political self-interest. We must win this fight.

Carol Rhoads

Laguna Beach

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Reduce Irvine coverage in Pilot

Re: the March 13 edition, Daily Pilot, and Irvine: Has the Pilot now become all things Irvine? I read the Daily Pilot every day to keep up on local issues in Newport and Costa Mesa. On Sunday, I wake up to find three front-page articles about Irvine. One is about the Irvine census numbers, the second is about the Irvine City Council and the third about the Irvine Ranch Conservancy.

On Page 4 is an article about an Irvine mom who is on "The Real Housewives of Orange County." On Page 8 is a piece about Irvine selecting a new superintendent of schools. I guess I can handle the big write-up of UC Irvine in the sports section, but this is ridiculous. Irvine is a fine city, but I don't think most Newport-Mesa residents care about what's going on down there on a local level. Keep it local, and you may keep your local readers.

Terry Johnston

Newport Beach

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