A pro-choice state?
Julie Burkhart of Trust Women recently wrote that Kansas is a pro-choice state and that abortion restrictions are anti-science affronts to women’s rights. These two claims deserve careful attention.
The first claim is in tension with pro-choice candidates consistently losing in Kansas. It is noteworthy that an abortion friendly entity sponsored each of the studies mentioned. In claim two, Ms. Burkhart neglected to provide scientific evidence. Therefore, let’s recall the question at hand, namely, whether a fetus is a human being deserving not to be killed.
We know that each human being possesses a unique set of DNA. Also, each human being receives half of that DNA from a mother and the other half from a father, those sets combining at conception.
Some say that it isn’t DNA but rather consciousness or ability to provide oneself shelter and nutrition which constitute the basis of humanity. However, sleeping people lack consciousness, and the very young, very sick, and very old cannot provide themselves vital necessities. Nevertheless, such always retain status as human beings.
In summary, it is not at all clear that abortion rights advocates enjoy either majority support in Kansas or sound scientific reasoning anywhere.
Alan Winter, Mt. Hope
Some people are promoting the idea of babies sleeping in cardboard boxes. Many parents assume that a product must be safe if it is allowed to be sold. But to date, none of the boxes meet Consumer Product Safety Commission standards, because no safety standards have been set.
National organizations, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, have raised concerns regarding the boxes:
▪ Potential poor air flow.
▪ May tip over if placed on an unstable surface.
▪ Infant weight and age limits are higher than those for a safety-approved bassinet, yet boxes for sale have a smaller sleep surface.
▪ Cardboard is flammable.
▪ Structural damage due to moisture or wear and tear.
▪ Access to baby by pets and animals.
▪ Cardboard attracts rodents and roaches.
The Medical Society of Sedgwick County’s Safe Sleep Task Force has reviewed the data regarding cardboard boxes for sleep. Until research supports the safety of boxes, we recommend following AAP safe sleep recommendations:
▪ Infants should sleep in a safety-approved crib, portable crib or bassinet in the same room where you sleep.
▪ Place infants on their back to sleep (supine) for every sleep. This position does not increase the risk of choking and aspiration.
▪ Use a firm sleep surface.
▪ Keep soft objects and loose bedding out of the sleep area.
▪ Consider offering a pacifier.
▪ Breastfeed, if possible.
▪ Avoid overheating and covering the infant’s head
Additional information can be found at kidsks.org.
On behalf of the MSSC Safe Sleep Task Force:
Dr. Stephanie Kuhlmann, KUSM-Wichita associate professor, Cari Schmidt, KUSM- Wichita associate research professor, Christy Schunn, executive director, KIDS Network
Trump’s budget proposal
Trump’s tax proposal in its hurting of most vulnerable individuals in our society, dissembles compassion and is an attack on many of the people who voted for him.
It takes the food out of the mouth of children, substance away from the disabled, and health care from those least able to afford it. It will make it harder for students to achieve a college education, at a time when such learning is imperative for America to sustain itself in this rapidly technologically advancing world.
There is a cruelty in this “offering” from an administration riveted with billionaires, one that is out of touch with the majority of Americans.
We can spend untold dollars on ridiculous walls that will not effectively address the issues they are designed to keep out, while letting our people starve. But, what else could you expect from such a marvelous marketer, who has been effective in selling snake oil, packing it as the most soothing healing lotion, and having us rub it all over ourselves.
Dr. Charles A Gaynor, Bel Aire
In using the phrase "Poverty of Spirit" in a degrading sense, Ben Carson exhibits his Poverty of Understanding that this term has long been in use to mean a spiritual attitude which is a positive characteristic. In the more Christian traditions it means that one recognizes his or her complete dependence on the Creator as the soul source of life, joy, spiritual fulfillment, and even material blessings; in intellectual traditions it means that one knows the limits of his or her own knowledge and understanding, a requirement for further learning. When Carson was nominated for Secretary of HUD, he exhibited virtuous Poverty of Spirit by claiming he was not qualified for the position, something our Commander-in-Chief may consider doing.
Tina Bennett-Kastor, Wichita
The vast majority of Kansans – myself included – support increasing the tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products. Several polls show consistent support for an increase, with the latest numbers coming last week in Fort Hays State University’s Kansas Speaks poll. In it, 69 percent of Kansans support increased tobacco taxes — which is smart health policy that produces reliable revenue.
Significantly increasing the tax on cigarettes will prevent thousands of Kansas kids from ever becoming smokers while also prompting tens of thousands of adults to quit using tobacco. Both of those changes lead to less death and disease from tobacco-caused illness – which equals health care savings to the state. All of this happens while the state gets a big boost in new revenue.
So, with smoking rates higher than the national average and a major budget shortfall – plus clear public support – why hasn’t the Kansas Legislature acted on proposals to raise the cigarette tax? It will take a combination of tax changes to address the state’s budget mess, but this piece is easy. Raising the tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products by $1.50 per pack makes dollars and makes sense.
Anthony Hammock, Wichita
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