ISSUE | PLANNED PARENTHOOD

Stop the hate speech

The right wing's call to arms against Planned Parenthood is one of the most evil acts of political chicanery in my lifetime. It has led to multiple homicides, arsons, and bombings. The most recent example, Friday in Colorado, resulted in three deaths and was directly caused by a debunked attack on Planned Parenthood ("Official: Suspect said 'no more baby parts,' " Sunday).

The rhetoric of hate has even snagged the field of Republican presidential candidates, represented by the unforgettable diatribe by Carly Fiorina in a televised debate. Even with the Planned Parenthood "baby parts" video shown to have been doctored, those candidates have yet to disavow it.

The hate speech of the so-called pro-life movement must stop immediately. The media should stop publicizing it, and law enforcement should crack down on its practitioners.

If pro-lifers have reasonable and true arguments, they should be free to present them. There is room to debate abortion in our pluralistic society, and civil debate must continue. But there should be no room for hate speech that is an incitement to murder.

|Dr. Kenneth Gorelick, Newtown Square

Clinics offer vital services

Planned Parenthood provides comprehensive services for women belonging to all socioeconomic and ethnic groups. When I taught at a small college in northeastern Pennsylvania, Planned Parenthood was the place our young women could go for any of their medical needs, for honest discussions about sexuality, and for any other kinds of advice the clinic offered. And all of that was offered with kindness, with professionalism, and with deep understanding.

Yes, Planned Parenthood provides abortions - legal abortions - but not before explaining all options and exploring the woman's psychological as well as physical status.

|Marie Conn, Hatboro

Violence as a pro-life strategy

On Friday, an armed man killed three people, including a police officer, at the Colorado Springs office of Planned Parenthood. In 2009, Kansas abortion doctor George Tiller was murdered in his church. In 1998, a New York abortion provider was shot and killed while sleeping in his home.

There have been at least 73 successful attacks on American abortion clinics and providers since 1997, according to the National Abortion Federation.

These fanatics remind us of other fanatical groups, such as the Islamic State, that will not tolerate any belief other than their own. Some abortion opponents truly believe their actions are going to prevent abortions. Women of financial means will always find a doctor or clinic willing to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. So the people who suffer most are the poor, who have no choice but to get a back-alley abortion - risking their health and even survival.

Shutting down Planned Parenthood clinics - which provide many necessary services other than abortion to girls and women - is in antiabortionists' minds a pro-life strategy.

|Dave Savage, Collingswood

'Every life is precious'

I mourn the people who were shot and killed on Friday, as well as the numerous lives ended in abortions at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs. Every life is precious. Gun violence is never the answer, especially for a pro-life advocate. The act of an extremist can change the discussion, but not the truth of the situation.

|Jo-Ann Maguire, Norristown

No matter what, it's terrorism

Is it necessary that terrorists be foreigners? It seems to make little difference where a person is from when a member of the community murders schoolchildren or attacks a Planned Parenthood facility. If we call these domestic killers "terrorists," do we fear offending the National Rifle Association?

|John Wenderoth, Wilmington