Letter: Truth in toons | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Truth in toons

Your editorial cartoon in the Aug. 2 edition of The Aspen Times asserts that defunding Planned Parenthood would end or severely curtail medical research. How can this be since Planned Parenthood claims and federal law requires that none of the government money given to it be used for abortions — one source of the tissue used in this research?

Additional facts relating to the issue of fetal research from an Aug. 2 Reuters article:

Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital reports that only 10 of 8,000 active research protocols involve fetal tissue.

The Alzheimer’s Association has not received a request to fund a project involving fetal tissue in about seven years. The article does report that some research still requires fetal tissue, though 21st-century science has developed several laboratory-based methods of producing tissue for research that are a more reliable and ethical source than abortions. Hopefully continued progress will soon replace all fetal tissue in research.

A cartoon much more to the point of use of federal funding by Planned Parenthood might look into its claim that it is providing a wide range of women’s health services. In fact, Planned Parenthood itself does not provide many of the services it claims. Example: As a Level 1 breast cancer service center, Planned Parenthood is only authorized to provide a manual breast exam — the same exam women can perform themselves. It must refer women on to community health centers to provide the more advanced services women need. In the United States, community health centers outnumber Planned Parenthood locations by 9,059 to 666! Why are we funding the “middlewoman”? Wouldn’t it be more cost-effective to give the funding directly to those who actually provide the services?

We all feel a lot of emotion concerning the issues involved here — sex, babies, life and death, right and wrong, innocence and guilt. Don’t we need truth to help us individually and as a nation to make good decisions on these vital areas of our lives? I hope that the staff of the Times sees its calling as finding and reporting the truth as best as it can be found. I don’t believe this calling was well-served by Sunday’s editorial cartoon.

Roy Schoepf

Yuma, Arizona, and Aspen