Sex is risky
We need to change the debate around this issue (see “I Had An Abortion,” September 26). I am against killing people: I am anti-war, pro-environmentalism, pro-social programs, pro-universal health care, etc. And if a pregnancy is endangering a woman’s life, the woman’s life needs to be saved. But I feel this way because I’m pro-life.
One voice that is always silent in the debate: the father who wanted to keep the child. If a father wants to keep the child, he has no say in the situation and no rights to speak of.
Yes, the child lives in the mother’s womb for nine months, but if the mother doesn’t want that child and leaves the father, it’s the father who will raise, feed, clothe, and support that child on his own for the rest of his life. Or legally required, a minimum of 18 years — versus nine months. Please, try and tell me that nine months is a bigger sacrifice than the rest of your life.
Furthermore, how many hundreds of years ago did we figure out that having sex made tiny humans? You’d think at this stage, where we’ve landed a man on the moon, that people would no longer act surprised when having sex sometimes creates a tiny human being.
It’s a risk. If you are willing to take risks, you need to be willing to live with the consequences. That’s called “responsibility.” My partner of over two years and I agreed before we started dating not to have sex until we are financially and emotionally ready to support a child, should sex yield such a result. Neither of us are ready for a child now, so we’re not risking it, and as a result we don’t have to deal with any of the agonizing choices or consequences that others who’ve made risky decisions have.
PS: I’m normally of the position that abortion is not a choice I’d make, but I’m okay with it if you do it, but the “I had an abortion” T-shirts elicit a strong negative gut reaction from me and put me further to the pro-life camp. Essentially these people are wearing shirts that say, “I’ve killed my own child.” Advertising that fact? That’s fucked up.
Al Diamon had fun calling water activists “loud-mouthed water wackos” (see “Drinkin’ Problem,” September 12). Unfortunately, name-calling and outrageous distortions of the truth are easier than a discussion of the facts.
Take Back the Tap is a project of the consumer advocacy organization Food and Water Watch. We advocate for funding of our aging water infrastructure and educate consumers about making the best choices for their health and the environment. Bottled water is a scam and the idea that all bottled water is pure is a marketing myth. And with the downturn in the economy, buying bottled water is a poor investment. It costs hundreds or thousands of times more than tap water, and most tap water is just as clean and safe as bottled water.
The Food and Drug Administration has less than one full-time employee devoted to bottled-water oversight. Bottled water is poorly regulated. Bottled water is never tested after it is bottled and stored, no mater how long it sits on the shelf. And the chemicals that leach from the plastic bottles into the water are not regulated at all.
The production and distribution of bottled water, such as Nestle’s Poland Spring, causes environmental problems. No studies have been conducted on the ecological effects of excessive groundwater pumping, so the relationship to surface water and the surrounding natural environment is unknown. While it is true that other beverages such as milk and beer also use great quantities of water, energy, and oil to produce, they do not already flow out of the tap almost free of charge.
Nestle is freely siphoning millions of gallons of Maine water into little plastic bottles and trucking it across the country to sell at hundreds or thousands of times the cost of tap water. This scenario is mirrored in rural communities around the country from Michigan to California, where Nestle’s water-removal projects deplete aquifers and harm the local economy by paying too little for the water they take.
Mainers need to reclaim control of local water resources for the public good, not as a commodity to be bought and sold by corporate water hunters.
Learn more at www.FoodAndWaterWatch.org/water/bottled.
Jamilla El-Shafei, Save Our Water
Amy Dowley, Take Back the Tap