Save public transit

With each passing day, the need for our leaders in Harrisburg to save the state's public transportation systems grows more critical. Across the state, public transportation systems, such as SEPTA, will be forced to increase fares and make steep cuts in service beginning July unless Harrisburg crafts a funding solution before then.

Beyond making it more difficult for Pennsylvanians to get to work and school every day, service cuts and fare increases will have serious environmental and public health consequences. Quite simply, more people driving their cars instead of taking the train or bus means more smog and global warming pollution.

Already, pollution from cars and trucks helps to rank Pennsylvania as the third-biggest producer of global- warming pollution among all states. Without well-funded public transportation, we'll never be able to achieve the cuts in pollution that scientists say are necessary to avoid global warming's worst effects.

Nathan Willcox
Energy & Clean Air Advocate


Cheney is responsible

One would think that a presidential candidate introducing articles of impeachment in Congress against the current vice president would merit front-page news coverage. But when U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D., Ohio) recently introduced House Resolution 333, Articles of Impeachment Relating to Vice President Richard B. Cheney, the story garnered little coverage. So much for the "liberal" media.

Kucinich's resolution seeks to call Cheney to account for spreading misinformation that led us into an unjustified invasion of Iraq. The vice president repeatedly made claims about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction that were all proven false.

We can't go back in time and prevent the war, but we can hold the vice president accountable.

Eddie Konczal
Monroe Township, N.J.

Justice for Abu-Jamal

Re: "When it's time to MOVE on - and speak out," April 29:

I'm suspicious of the motivations of people such as Tony Allen who devote their time to campaigning against Mumia Abu-Jamal's getting another trial.

Abu-Jamal did not get a fair trial. Nearly all African Americans were stricken from the jury, the judge was prejudiced, and Abu-Jamal's legal team was underfunded. The ballistics evidence did not prove he was the shooter.

The column didn't mention any of the reasons hundreds of thousands of people all over the world are behind his efforts to get a new trial. I am one of them. Why don't you give fair coverage to those who have doubts that Abu-Jamal pulled the trigger of a gun that killed Officer Daniel Faulkner?

Arlene Tyner


Ruling hurts poor

In upholding the federal ban on "partial-birth abortion," the Supreme Court did what it usually does - it ignored the rights and needs of poor women.

Roe v. Wade's

promise of reproductive autonomy may be a reality for women with money, but for poor women it is a distant dream.

Some years after Roe, the court said it was constitutional for Medicaid to not pay for abortions, even though it covers every other major medical procedure. In 1992, it reaffirmed Roe, but allowed the Pennsylvania law at issue to require women to wait 24 hours before an abortion. This hurts poor women hardest as they have less flexibility with jobs and so on during the waiting period.

Poor women tend to get abortions later in pregnancy because, without good access to health care, they find out they're pregnant later than other women and take longer to come up with funds for the abortion. This pushes them later into the second trimester, when many doctors believe the safest abortion is intact dilation and evacuation. Now it's illegal.

David S. Cohen
Associate Professor
Drexel University College of Law
Linda Dunn
Chair, Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Chestnut Hill Hospital

The writers are board members of the Women's Medical Fund.

Blue Cross mistakes

Having received Independence Blue Cross' second premium rate increase notice within 13 months - 40.6 percent in 2006, and 45.5 percent effective June 1 - for my wife's individual, non-group health coverage plan, approved by the Pennsylvania Insurance Department, I'm wondering which experts are doing the revenue projections and planning at that firm.

Why does this industry get away with simply passing the results of its incompetence on to the customer?

Hans Bombeck