Opinion: Anger, celebration sparked by Supreme Court draft opinion on Roe vs. Wade

Analyzing that Alito draft opinion

Re: “Alito’s opinion on Roe is political, not constitutional,” May 4 editorial and “Report: Court would overturn Roe,” May 3 news story

Make no mistake: A few lifetime appointees to the Supreme Court, with no code of ethics requiring their recusal on the grounds of personal bias or activism, are holding extraordinary power over women — their health needs, decision-making, and futures.

My pregnancies, like countless others, entailed miscarriages and an abortion for medically sound reasons. But I had good doctors, support, privacy, and freedom to make my own way through trauma and trouble.

To repeal Roe vs. Wade is to leave the issue to state politicians and to abandon hope for any national standards for women’s health, rights, and power to make hard choices for themselves and their families. Back we go to fear, backroom abortions, vigilante policing, and disasters for women’s health, already full of reproductive risks.

Jennifer S.H. Brown, Denver

Justice Samuel Alito wrote, “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start.” He continued, “We cannot allow our decisions to be affected by any extraneous influences such as concern about the public’s reaction to our work.”

The justices in the 1973 Roe vs. Wade opinion invented a right to justify a politically motivated ruling. It is obvious that they had reached a decision and had to search for a constitutional justification. At least they were honest enough to recognize that they needed a constitutional justification, although they dishonestly made one up (the right to privacy by misinterpreting the 14th amendment).

I would also remind you that the U.S. Supreme Court once declared that slaves were not people with constitutionally guaranteed rights; instead, they were property. (Dred Scott opinion). Roe vs. Wade provided a right for the pregnant woman, a person, but no rights for the unborn child before it reached the point of viability, implying that they had no rights because they were not persons. Roe vs. Wade is probably the worst and most politically motivated opinion since the Dred Scott decision.

Since Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court has affirmed the right of states to place constraints on the practice of abortion, hardly an endorsement of an absolute constitutionally guaranteed right. States are not allowed to infringe on constitutional rights.

The meaning of the Constitution does not depend on public opinion polls (see Justice Alito’s comment above). If the draft holds as the final decision, I applaud the concurring justices.

Glenn Davidson, Centennial

Let me remind those favoring overturning Roe vs. Wade that it will not eliminate abortion; it will only make abortion illegal and unsafe. The maternal mortality rate in this country is the highest of all developed countries. Overturning Roe will increase the mortality rate. Overturning Roe will have devastating results. How in good conscience can someone call themselves pro-life when women no longer have a choice in a health care issue that could kill them. And what about the cause and effect on women without health care and without child care?

It is unconscionable for a society to turn its back on the lives of American women. And for what? Political reward?

Nancy Rife, Wheat Ridge

The Post ridicules Justice Alito’s reasoning in the draft opinion reversing Roe, claiming that it is political. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Alito methodically lays out the case that abortion was never endorsed in common law, which would have framed the thinking of those drafting the Constitution.

Furthermore, it was prohibited by a majority of the states when the 14th Amendment was introduced. Clearly, it was not the intention of those who drafted the 14th amendment for it to be used as the basis for a new right to abortion. Finally, Alito makes a crystal-clear distinction. Autonomy and privacy rights, which flow from the penumbra of the Constitution, are sacrosanct if they don’t interfere with another human being’s rights, especially one as fundamental as the right to life.

Abortion policy will be messy when democratically addressed by either federal or state legislatures or by the initiative process. However, it is far preferable to a truly political framework imposed by fiat from above in 1973.

Thomas J. Perille, Englewood

So now, it seems, who controls decisions about your health, medical care and voting rights will be determined by where you live? Well then, why not let states decide on who you can marry, who can use specified water fountains and where you can sit on a bus. All rights to self-determination should not depend on the jaded, self-serving, hypocritical views of “Christian” politicians who may govern where you reside. Just get out now, if and when you can.

Jim Aldridge, Golden

I read The Denver Post news articles surrounding the premature leak of what purports to be the majority opinion in a Supreme Court decision that is imminent.

Although I am pro-life, even pro-choice supporters should condemn this act. This is a breach of ethical morals regarding who is privy to information, and the guardians of such information are mere custodians, who hold that information in a supposedly secure manner. To fail to do so is a breach of the internal discussions between justices. To tattle jeopardizes confidence and could stir-up turmoil both inside and outside the High Court.

I think whoever is responsible for that leak of sensitive information should serve hard time in prison.

James A. Marples, Longview, Texas

White Mesa water is better than ever, report says

Re: “Legacy of America’s last uranium mill,” April 24 news story

Something smells funny, and it’s not the drinking water in White Mesa, Utah.

The Denver Post’s article opens with a community member holding a cup of water that smells like sulfur and stains bathtubs and sinks. He refuses to drink the water because he thinks (without evidence) the mill contaminates his water. The Ute Mountain Ute Tribe’s environmental director says the water in White Mesa is “barely” drinkable.

This does not add up. White Mesa’s water originates from wells drilled deep into a clean aquifer. The water is treated at facilities upgraded by the tribe in 2019. Recent copies of Annual Water Quality Reports prepared by the tribe’s governing body states that White Mesa’s water has met stringent EPA drinking water standards since at least 2013. Their 2020 report boasts, “drinking water in White Mesa is better than it has ever been,” which the data supports. Uranium and radioactive elements are far below limits or undetectable. Traces of pesticides, herbicides and compounds used in agriculture and ranching are detected, but nothing implicates the Mill.

There is shallow groundwater under much of southeast Utah that can run naturally cloudy, contains iron (which stains plumbing), and smells like sulphur, just like the water described in Mr. Swanson’s story.

This leads to questions: Is anyone in White Mesa drinking tainted water? If so, why? Is the water barely drinkable or is it better than ever? Regardless, there is no connection between the Mill and this mysterious water.

Mark Chalmers,

Editor’s note: Chalmers is the president and CEO of Energy Fuels Resources which owns the mill in White Mesa, Utah.

We need to make water-wise choices

Re: “Denver is missing crucial spring snow and rain,”

Krista Kafer’s column offered a needed nudge for us to reduce our water usage. Transforming grass lawns into xeriscape spaces with native plants is a step in the right direction.

I only wish Kafer would have mentioned a far more effective way to reduce water consumption: switching to a plant-based diet.

The typical U.S. diet requires 1,000 gallons of water per day for growing crops, whereas a vegan diet requires about 400 gallons per day.

By eliminating the consumption of animal products, a household of four could save over 500,000 gallons of water in a year.

Eating plant-based has never been easier, and not only is it far less expensive than a landscaping project, but it’s also less expensive at the grocery store.

Tina Eden, Niwot

While I agree with Krista Kafer’s Denver Post column, the unvarnished truth is that, while Denverites might have reduced water consumption by 20%, Denver’s population has soared by an equal 20% during the past decade, resulting in a net-zero gain.

Our future prospects aren’t indicated by the drought in Denver but by the declining water levels of Lake Mead and Lake Powell. These reservoirs, which are filled by the Colorado River, not only supply large cities like Las Vegas and Los Angeles with drinking water, but supply electricity to them as well. Recently both reservoirs have dropped to record lows, and electric power generation is being threatened accordingly.

The drought in the Southwest is scientific fact, not political fiction.

It’s clear from the past 20 years that Mother Nature is fighting a losing battle to keep water flowing into Lake Mead and Lake Powell. Everybody living in the Southwestern states, including Colorado, will suffer in direct proportion to their lack of water.

In the meantime, rivers, wells, and aquifers are going dry even as arable land is being paved over by the acre throughout the Southwest.

Why don’t we have enough water? Go figure.

Gary E. Goms, Buena Vista

Collective bargaining wouldn’t be a disaster, commissioner

Re: “Unions for counties would bring animosity,” April 29 commentary

All due respect to Grand County Commissioner Rich Cimino, his perspective fails to grasp the main benefit of allowing public employees to bargain collectively for wages, benefits and working conditions: These same public employees are also taxpayers.

As a retired firefighter-paramedic, former union president and negotiator, I respected these rights, as did my employer, when it came time to bargain for a new contract. As public safety representatives, we are not allowed to strike.

And for good reason. It would violate the oath we took when we were hired. Having the last course of action to be binding arbitration, the costs and the process were enough of a deterrent for employer and employee; it forced us to funnel our issues to what really is important.

Because that oath is held so sacred to most public safety professionals, it also can be used for political purposes when that public entity or rogue politician feels the only way to maintain a budget is to cut services. I can give many examples of local government entities where public safety was compromised over a downtown beautification project or other related examples.

I also understand his perspective of “union bosses.” From my viewpoint, no one understands your profession better than you. While our bargaining teams could obtain legal counsel when necessary, we alone were our own advocates. From this foundation grows the success of any union.

Rest assured, Commissioner Cimino, the sky is not going to fall, nor will the inmates run the asylum, if you truly had collective bargaining in your county.

Dale Steward, Thornton

Editor’s note: Steward is a retired firefighter and a member of the International Association of Fire Fighters.

Trump’s “personality” is not the problem

Re: “And, what about the Democrat’s extremists?” May 1 letter to the editor

All of the criticisms the letter writer levels at the Democrats pale in comparison to the GOP extremists’ attempted coup and their followers’ attack on the Capitol to overturn a free and fair election to keep President Donald Trump in power.

And to answer the writer’s question, would we be better off with President Joe Biden, who has dedicated his life to public service, or the ethically challenged twice-impeached former president, who thinks only of himself? I think the answer to that is quite obvious.

JM Jesse, Glenwood Springs

The writer implies former President Trump’s main problem was that he is “personality challenged.” No, Trump’s main problem is that he is unethical.

He supported the Jan. 6 attack on our Capitol and tried to decertify a legitimate election while pushing the “Big Lie.” His obnoxious personality is only a very small part of Trump’s problems.

Gary Bagstad, Denver

The Post must reckon with past statements on Roe vs. Wade

Re: “Denver Post endorsement: Cory Gardner for U.S. Senate,” Oct. 12, 2014 editorial

Can The Denver Post please address its endorsement of Cory Gardner over Mark Udall for the U.S. Senate, saying, “contrary to Udall’s tedious refrain, Gardner’s election would pose no threat to abortion rights.”

Cory Gardner was in the Senate when the balance of the Supreme Court swung so drastically that Roe is now likely going to be overturned.

Lisa Williams, Denver

Identifying porch pirates

Daily I see photos of thieves brazenly taking packages from front porches, garage break-ins, car and bike thefts, and front- and backyard trespassing. The police are helpless to identify most of them, but the citizens of Denver and surrounding areas might recognize these thieves and identify them to the authorities.

It would be a public service if The Denver Post could print these photos for the world to see just who these criminals are. Possibly this could be a deterrent.

Elaine Little, Denver

Focus concern of the sports industry on injuries

Re: “Byram’s road back came with plenty of support,” April 17 sports story

As a sports fanatic, I have noticed safety concerns in sports becoming more and more prevalent.

It seems like in every sport, players are knocked unconscious. The number of injuries is climbing and likely will continue to increase.

Within my own athletics experience, I have suffered numerous injuries. As a third-year varsity wrestler, I have been knocked unconscious twice, dislocated my kneecap and sprained both MCLs. I have crippling eating disorders and body dysmorphia because of my awful weight cuts. The dangers of participating in sports are making players and all sports communities question the safety of the industry.

Sports injuries need to be prevented. However, everyone knows that sports can’t be canceled until solutions arise; the massive industry of sports simply can’t be halted for safety concerns. According to statista.com, the NFL generated $15 billion in revenue in 2019. With an industry this large, the concern shouldn’t be entirely directed toward maximizing profit; rather it should be focused on players’ overall safety.

Liam Masters, Aurora

Forget progressive tax rebates; end TABOR

Re: “Finally, a TABOR refund that’s good for you,” April 26 editorial

Sometimes what looks like a good idea turns out to be very short-sighted.

A burst of sugar can help in an emergency but, on an ongoing basis, is a recipe for wild mood swings and decay. Such is the fate of TABOR; it has become a source of decay to public education, transportation and meaningful programs to address homelessness and housing needs.

The Denver Post notes that Coloradans will receive a check for $400 as a TABOR rebate and notes that it has a quality of progressive taxation.

Meanwhile our friends to the south in New Mexico instead adopted a policy of free tuition for residents to college and trade schools.

It is obvious that will create more opportunity and a stronger long-term economy than the sugar rush of a $400 check.

It is time for the leaders of this state to advocate for voters to revoke TABOR rather than boast about sending out $400 checks.

Robert Schultz, Carbondale

How did we lose these affordable houses?

Re: “Foreclosures included affordable housing,” May 1 news story

This is not the first I’ve read of this issue. But I am amazed that a title search (required to buy a house) does not turn up the fact that a house was built as low-cost housing stock. How is this possible? Surely the purpose of a title search is to discover all incumbrances on a property — including, one would think, its designation as low-cost housing.

This fact should be built into the description of a property, which would forestall this sort of error. Denver residents’ taxes are supporting housing for our low-income neighbors, so we all have a stake in ensuring that once it’s built, it remains in that pool. The title search is an established part of home-buying — the tool is in place to prevent selling these properties to unqualified buyers.

Nancy B. Weil, Denver

Less brutal options for La Alma park closure

Re: “La Alma Park closes after homicide, gun violence,” April 29 news story

Are there other alternatives other than perimeter fencing that can achieve a secure and enjoyable park? Perhaps a pair (or pairs) of officers walking through the park continually can establish a presence that might also deter crime. This may cost more than brutal chain link, however this seems a much wiser use of our resources.

Evan Siegel, Westminster

A few questions for U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert

Re: “Boebert at meetings on Pence, panel told,” April 27 news story

Congresswoman Lauren Boebert, I am one of your constituents in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District. Primary elections are scheduled for June 28 and general elections Nov. 8. For people to make an informed choice, please answer a few questions.

How would you characterize the event at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021? Was it a riot, insurrection, coup attempt, or the legitimate political expression of patriotic Americans?

Do you believe the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump?

If yes, what evidence can you cite that supports that opinion?

On Jan. 6, 2021, you tweeted “Today is 1776.” Please explain.

Do you support the Jan. 6 select committee investigation into the events of that day?

Have you been interviewed by the select committee? If not, will you voluntarily submit to questioning if the committee asks you to do so? If not, would you comply with a subpoena to do so?

According to Chief of Staff Mark Meadows’ aide Cassidy Hutchinson, you attended “several” meetings with Meadows and others regarding the electoral vote count. What opinions did you express in those meetings?

Do you feel that Vice President Mike Pence could have done something other than certify the Electoral College votes, and on what grounds?

An internet search advises that your salary is $174,000 per year. Is this correct? How much money does your congressional office receive in Members Representational Allowance (MRA)? How much of the MRA do you take for personal expenses?

Congresswoman Boebert, please consider having a question-and-answer session with Colorado media to answer questions such as those above.

Thank you for your time and attention.

The members of your constituency will be greatly interested in your answers.

Ed Gibbons, Cedaredge

Spare Booth Falls property

Re: “Council will begin process to condemn Vail Resort parcel,” April 21 news story

Since the rezoning of the Booth Falls parcel, this matter has been mishandled. From the start, Vail Resorts seemed to have been willing to rend the Vail community apart in order to build on the property. Now it appears that Vail Resorts is willing to condone the death of the bighorn sheep by interfering with their habitat.

Vail Resorts may believe that its customer base will overlook the atrocity, but I for one will not. Even though we have a home in Vail, next season we will leave the hypocritical Vail Resort’s over-crowded, under-staffed and unopened lifts to ski in Non Vail Resorts areas.

To me, more appalling than your flagrant indifference to your “Value Number 7” to do good and to preserve the natural environment, is the avaricious grab of my taxpayer dollars to feed the dividends of your gobbling shareholders.

You have the opportunity to break with the past policies of your predecessors, and to do the right thing by donating the land to the Town of Vail as perpetual open space. I implore you to stop the costly road to condemnation of the property. After all you would be following your “Value Number 2” to “Do Right: Act with integrity – always do the right thing, knowing it leads to the right outcome.”

Audre L. Engleman, Vail

Driving slow saves lives too

Re: “Driving slowly won’t help defeat Putin,” May 2, opinion column

I guess it was irrelevant for the purpose of his column, but Stephen Carter left out an important fact about the lowered speed limit.

Thousands more Americans lived. As he said, the National Research Council determined that President Ford’s lowering the speed limit had little effect on overall usage of gasoline. He did not say that same National Research Council determined that it had a large effect on how many Americans died. What’s your priority, driving faster or letting people live?

Bill Naylor, Denver

The great illusion of wealth in America will crumble

Everyone who owns property and is basking in the brilliance of their financial acumen needs to remember one thing: The Fed giveth, and the Fed taketh away.

The primary reason that housing prices have increased across America is the same reason that the stock market has risen – the Federal Reserve has flooded the American economy with money. This was done by setting interest rates below the rate of inflation. As interest rates fell, the price of houses went up because the same monthly payment would now cover a higher house price. These conditions also brought “investors” (who purchased 1/6th of all homes last year) into the market which increased demand and pushed up prices.

But now the Fed realizes that the inflationary forces which they have unleashed are no longer “transitory”. They are beginning to raise interest rates in order to try to regain control of inflation. As interest rates rise, housing prices will fall. This adjustment may take several different forms. The actual price of houses may decline. Or inflation may erode the real value of a property. With inflation at 8.5%, most people do not realize that the price of their home must increase by 8.5% each year just to maintain its real value.

The past two years have produced the great illusion of wealth creation – on paper. But unless you are willing to cash out (sell your home and stocks), just as you rode the markets up, you will ride them back down.

Guy Wroble, Denver

Jankowicz’s disinformation

Mere months ago, Nina Jankowicz publicly assured us in an interview with The Associated Press that Hunter Biden’s laptop was probably a disinformation op fabricated by Russia. Both The New York Times and Washington Post later acknowledged that the laptop and its contents were indeed genuine.

Now the Biden administration sees fit to create a “Disinformation Governance Board.” And who as been tapped to head it? Of all people … Nina Jankowicz.

Americans don’t need our government determining for us which reports are true and which aren’t. We are quite capable of making up our own minds.

Chris Dugan, Denver

Don’t force Colorado patients to “fail first”

Access to health care is crucial for Colorado families. One in four Coloradans live with a chronic illness, and many rely on their physician’s expertise and access to expensive medications to stay healthy.

House Bill 1370 would make health care more dependable for Coloradans by addressing barriers patients face in obtaining the right medication when they need it by reforming “step therapy,” in which insurers force patients to try and fail alternative medication before covering the medication recommended by their doctor.

This “fail first” approach can have extremely detrimental effects in illnesses such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

Prescription medication is incredibly important for people with MS to slow disease progression. Patients need to receive the right medication as soon as possible to halt inflammatory attacks. These prescription drugs are not interchangeable. When an MS patient goes through step therapy, a “fail” on medication risks disease progression and life-long disability. Insurers should not be standing in the way of high quality patient care.

House Bill 1370 reforms step therapy so that patients receive the medications their doctors recommend when they need them. HB 1370 is a key step toward a fairer health care system that puts patients first and allows Coloradans to thrive. Lawmakers, please pass HB-1370.

Lisbet Finseth, Denver

Editor’s note: Finseth is the senior manager of advocacy for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

A cover-worthy rout

Re: “McMahon’s ‘redemption homer’ sparks Colorado’s rout of Cincy,” April 30 sports story

I don’t think The Post gave the Rockies their due on the front page of Saturday’s Sports Section! The Rockies did very poorly on their road trip, but what a redemptive return home. They had an excellent game with many outstanding plays. Not the least of which was four double plays. You don’t see that very often.

Let’s expect they’re back in the grove and stay there.

Go Rockies!

James T. Watson, Highlands Ranch

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