We welcome your comments. Send them to themail@rochester-citynews.com, or post them on our website, rochestercitynewspaper.com, our Facebook page, or our Twitter feed, @roccitynews. For our print edition, we select comments from all three sources; those of fewer than 350 words have a greater chance of being published, and we do edit selections for publication in print. We don't publish comments sent to other media.

Debating choice

On our interview with anti-abortion Planned Parenthood supporter Hannah Murphy:

"She feels that for abortion rights advocates to be truly pro-choice, they too must work to improve society for women who choose to give birth."

What? Who donates to Planned Parenthood, the organization that offers prenatal, postnatal, and emotional support for pregnant teens? Certainly not anti-abortion folks. Who supports in-school day care for teens with children, so that they can graduate? Certainly not the red-leaning, anti-abortion folks.

Who supports government aid for poor women with children? Certainly not the red-leaning anti-abortion folks.

The basis of pro-choice is to allow women a choice to have a wanted child. We pro-choicers do the best we can to support that.


As an activist for the pro-life feminist movement, I agree with most of Hannah Murphy's concerns. I object to the use of graphic images and see it as exploitation. I oppose war, capital punishment, and any violent action taken against human being.

I would like to see both side of the debate come together to work on solving the issues that drive women to abortion. I have experienced the reluctance of both sides to do so, although pro-life people seem more willing than are pro-choice people to work together.

I do, however, somewhat disagree about funding Planned Parenthood. Yes, they provide services other than abortion. And yes, in certain areas, Planned Parenthood may be women's only option. More data on this is needed, however. But they do not and will not provide mammograms in any of their clinics or prenatal care in most of their clinics, which are central services for women (not profitable enough is my guess).

Why should taxpayers fund any organization that has been shown to have questionable ethics? Planned Parenthood has an army of lawyers that constantly get them out of legal trouble and considerable media protection to help them preserve their reputation.

Whether or not someone wants to see Planned Parenthood de-funded should not be an obstacle to people coming together to listen to each other and change hearts.


Issues surrounding "life" are gray, as is the definition of "violence." Hannah Murphy, vice president of Feminists for Non-Violent Choices, doesn't do a good job of delineating between what violence is. It varies, depending upon individual choices and experiences.

Murphy holds idealist goals, but sadly, reality often gets in the way. Her organization has simply re-framed the consistent life ethic, "an ideology that opposes abortion, capital punishment, assisted suicide," et al.

If she clearly wanted to work across the aisle, she wouldn't continue to use verbiage that supports her organization's mission. She speaks of the "unborn baby," but those of us who support reproductive choice use terms such as fetus or embryo.

The same is true of her reference to "assisted suicide," which is properly termed "death with dignity," accrued to a terminally ill, mentally competent person, as verified by two medical doctors. Upon exhaustion of all other options, this person makes the choice to end his own life by self-administering needed medicine.

This procedure allows people to end their painful suffering and achieve a peaceful death. I am perplexed as to why any organization would consider this as "violent." I personally want that choice and will continue to support legislation in New York State legalizing it.

I detest any organization's attempt, regardless of how Murphy chooses to spin it, to control my life or its demise.


A new home for divinity school?

On our article on Highland neighborhood residents' objection to development plans for the Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School campus: "The building will mar the view of a Rochester landmark, they said." The view is already blocked by large trees that line Highland and Goodman.

"And a new institutional building set right against Highland would be inconsistent with the residential character of the area." So, locating a school directly next to where there is currently a school will change the character of the area. OK.

I lived a few blocks from this location until last year. It's going to be difficult to judge one way or the other before seeing renderings.


Building up

On our Annual Manual article on housing development underway in downtown Rochester: So nice to see the downtown area attempting to be livable with amenities. Mid to high dollar housing brings expendable dollars to support retail, dining and entertainment. In my opinion, a city center is not the place for subsidized housing.

Plenty of space for that outside the loop with access to transportation. Kudos Rochester for finally moving forward with proper use of the downtown!


'You are your moral compass'

The rockets are red-glaring once more. Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, has stated: "The United States is the moral compass of the world."

There is no moral compass of the world. Even if all around you there are manifestations of greed, hatred, anger, and delusion, no matter how violent and horrendous, you are the moral compass of your world.

Pray to your God, pray to the Sun, cross yourself, cross your fingers, prostrate before a Buddha, prostrate before a Flower, say your prayers, chant your chants, sing your songs, say your obscenities – you alone are the moral compass of your world. Do not be deceived....