‘Everyone should march for climate, for justice, and for women’s rights’

In response to “Between the Lines: Looking to the Unexpected on Climate Change Solutions,” published May 30 – June 5, 2019.

Here on the eve of my 65th birthday it seemed appropriate to send a shout out to Dave Eisenstadter for helping keep us readers up to speed on urgent issues. By the fourth paragraph of today’s (5/29/19) Between the Lines column, “Looking to the Unexpected on Climate Change Solutions,” I was reaching for my tablet. Very often, I’ll grab a copy of the book of interest from the library through C/W MARS when I read about a good reference in the Valley Advocate or the Daily Hampshire Gazette. Today it was to secure a copy of Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming. I’m glad you brought it to my attention, Dave.

It’s not as lonely being an environmentalist today as it was 40 years ago, but it is just as frustrating. Life is better here in the Valley because locally more people are aware of the consequences of their actions and their habits of consumption. This is my segue to Dave’s piece on abortion bans, also in today’s issue.

Our beautiful Earth has four times as many people as when I came on the scene in 1954. Perhaps the simplest criteria for pro-choice is that it is good for the planet as well as for the parents, especially under the tyranny of our economic and justice systems. When I discussed the current Republican assault on women’s rights with my pro-life brother this weekend, I learned that he considers it a woman’s obligation to family and to society to bring a pregnancy to term. I pointed out certain parallels to slavery in his assessment, which he acknowledged, but he would not yield the point. I’ve had to call him out for blaming the victim in the past. Another fact is the two generations after Roe v. Wade have shown a significant related decrease in crime. That seems entirely unsurprising.

As for us Bowens, our daughter is adopted, our house is solarized in part, our cars get 50 miles per gallon, but we all have so very far to go. Last year I saw a single monarch butterfly. Only one. Somehow we must find a balance with the natural world before greed is allowed to destroy it. Maybe Drawdown will help, but political action is essential. Everyone should march for climate, for justice, and for women’s rights. Surely we all want the Earth to be healthy. Let’s make our choices consciously and let’s not put up with planet wreckers or oppressors in positions of power.

—Chris Bowen, Southampton

A Response to the Response on Abortion Rights

In response to “Abortion Should Not Be Law of the Land,” in the Back Talk section of the Advocate published May 30 – June 5. That letter was a response to “If It’s Not Your Body, It’s Not Your Business,” published the prior week.

Abortion is a medical procedure that is necessary to be an option for many reasons and none of those reasons are anyone’s business but a woman and her doctor and making it illegal is not OK. It’s dangerous …

— Missy Miller-Clapp, Facebook comment

Your personal anecdote, as personal and as powerful as it may be for you, shouldn’t dictate the lives of other people.

— Jeffery Anderson-Burgos, Facebook comment

“As for Ohio’s heartbeat bill and pro-life legislation in other states, I would suggest Ms. Levesque take her own advice and MYOB.” My goodness. The writer has completely missed the point. The point is that bills that take “away” rights are interfering in the privacy, freedom, and independence (aka the “business”) of a womb-having person, and unequally, since there are no proposed limitations on the bodily rights of testicle-having persons who father unwanted children. It is the business of all women and womb-having people, regardless of what state we live in, to advocate for our rights — especially when the anti-abortion legislation in other states is “clearly not” minding it’s own business, being designed to be challenged up the legal ladder with the intent of toppling Roe. Also, I have to add, since this writer asks (snittily, to use a Barr-ism) whether the writer of the original piece has “ever heard of adoption,” has the writer of this rebuttal ever heard of the medical cost of pregnancy and birth? Even with very good health insurance, it can cost $10,000-$15,000 to bear a child, not to mention impacts to ones social and professional life. Why should women have to face these financial, professional, and social setbacks for an unwanted pregnancy just because some people in this country have an unfounded religious belief that there is a soul that somehow pops out of nowhere at the moment of conception? I’m so glad the writer of this rebuttal is happy with her life choices but she needs to realize that her feelings have nothing to do with the rights of others to make their own choices.

— Caro Roszell, Facebook comment

While everyone is discussing abortion rights we are not focusing any discussion, education and increased resources for the 450,000 children in foster care right now today in just the United States. It’s the opioid crisis. Lots of grandparents are raising their grandchildren. We have a serious problem in this country. I want this energy to focus on those children. It is truly frustrating to hear the anti abortion people not engaging in the whole story. Abortion will remain safe and legal. Now what are we going to do about the foster children. Signed, Retired Foster Mom.

— Louanne Dunphy, Facebook comment