Letters: Support Melissa Cerrato, Vote to Preserve Democracy, Protect Abortion Services, Mastriano & Polinchock in Lockstep, and Is Biden’s Age a Factor in 2024

Bucks County Beacon readers share their views.

We need to support Democrat Melissa Cerrato

Todd Stephens has been representing the 151st Legislative District for a long time. Each time it has been a relatively easy campaign for him.  

But this time it will be different. You see, Todd Stephens is a Republican. Republicans are now the party taking away long-standing rights. They are the party allowing government to decide a woman’s private healthcare concerns yet they tell us wearing a mask to help stop COVID is a personal decision. They are the party that calls climate change a hoax as our weather extremes are more apparent every day – Hurricane Ida anyone? They are the party telling us Christianity is the only true religion.They are the party banning books in schools and libraries that might allow a gay or trans child to feel heard and validated. They are the party that allows race to be an issue and not addressed.They are the party that allows gun sales to come before the safety of our children.They are the party that has supported and not held accountable a twice impeached ex-president who, by the way, is also now under investigation by the FBI.  

For all of the above reasons we need to support Democrat Melissa Cerrato for the House of Representatives 151st District.

We have too much to lose if we don’t.  

Dani Richards, Horsham

Vote to Preserve our Democracy

The Republican-led state legislature is hard at work – not passing legislation that would benefit Pennsylvanians but proposing amendments to the state Constitution (in SB 106) that would dramatically move power from the people to the legislature and political parties.

As described by the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania – an organization without ties to any political party or candidate – SB 106 shows the breakdown of the legislative process in Harrisburg. It was passed (by Pennsylvania’s Senate and House of Representatives) after considerable backroom dealing: manipulated procedural rules, no public hearings, and little opportunity for the public to participate or even know what was happening.

Of particular concern, voters would be asked to:

Change the voting age to 21, in direct violation of the 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution; and to affirm a 90-day residency requirement to vote in Pennsylvania, when it is actually 30 days. 

Declare that the state constitution does not grant any right relating to abortion.

Adding insult to injury, these amendments will likely be on the ballot with little notice and no educational materials. In the past, amendments have appeared on off-year primary ballots, with votes cast by fewer than 25% of registered voters.

But we can prevent this takeover. We can vote for state legislators who will honor their commitment to the rule of law and their constituents. Vote for Democrats. Vote as if your rights depend on it, because they do!

Mary Bruce Serene, State College

Protect Abortion Services

Why do we need abortion services when there’s birth control? 

Unfortunately, contraceptives are far from perfect and can be difficult to obtain, which is why about half of all pregnancies in the U.S. are unintended.

Most women experiencing a crisis pregnancy use birth control.  The American Pregnancy Association, supported by Focus on the Family and other Christian groups, says, “Birth control failure is more common than many believe.” 

A National Institute of Health report says, “Millions of couples conceive while trying to avoid doing so.”

Contraception is a personal decision based on what’s  best for the woman’s health, relationship and economic status.  Permanent choices (vasectomy and tubal surgery) have a 1% failure rate.  Long-acting reversible contraceptives (injectable, pill, ring, patch) have a 7% failure rate–condoms 15%.  Methods such as spermicides, diaphragm, withdrawal and fertility awareness have a 15-90% failure rate (Guttmacher Institute).

Although the ACA mandates free contraception, the challenges of acquiring birth control persist.  Many insurance companies cover medication or devices, but not doctor visits—and most cover only one type for each method and don’t cover newly developed birth control methods. 

America could do more to educate, distribute and fund contraception care (note: ACA birth control coverage isn’t tax-funded; it’s paid through insurance premiums), but as long as challenges in contraception provisions lead to unwanted pregnancies, abortion care remains essential.

In November, vote for candidates who will protect abortion access in Pennsylvania.

Kathleen O’Connell, Lemont

Doug Mastriano and Todd Polinchock in Lockstep

Doug Mastriano, election-denier and insurrectionist, fought to the end to reverse the voters’ will in 2020. And state Rep Todd Polinchock signed on to this scheme. When the insurrection didn’t work, Mastriano set out to run for governor with a laundry list of “To Dos” to get Trump back in The White House. As a state Senator, he pushed through legislation that allowed poll watchers to travel to other counties to oversee the voting. He pushed “open-carry” gun legislation so that these poll watchers could be as intimidating as possible. And Rep. Todd Polinchock has been in lockstep. He proposed the purging of the voter registration lists, forcing everyone in the state to re-register. He proposed IDs as a prerequisite to vote, even though it is well accepted that those most likely not to have IDs–the poor and elderly–would be most likely to be disenfranchised. He promised to curtail if not eliminate altogether mail-in voting. He promised to appoint a Secretary of State, whose office is charged with running elections, who is an election-denier and then at a rally this summer, told the crowd that despite the vote count, he will submit a slate of electors to Congress in 2024, just as he did in 2020, thus ensuring a Trump “victory.” Make no mistake about it, in this election Democracy is on the ballot. Doug Mastriano is a clear and present danger to democracy itself as are his enablers like Todd Polinchock.

Bill Davis, New Britain

Despite Historic Accomplishment, Biden Should Not Run in 2024

In only twenty months in office, President Biden has amassed an impressive list of achievements.  His legislative accomplishments (gun safety, infrastructure, CHIPS,  veterans’ benefits, climate change, pandemic relief, and inflation reduction) have presidential historians comparing his scorecard to FDR and LBJ.  He directed vaccine distribution, mended fences with allies, coordinated Ukrainian support, lowered gas prices by releasing petroleum reserves, and restored integrity, compassion, and adulthood to the Oval Office.  

Such a record calls for a second term in office. In my opinion, however, he should not seek reelection in 2024, and should announce that decision immediately. 

The man will turn age 82 shortly after the 2024 election, and 86 before his second term expires in 2029.  Many voters will, fairly or not,  consider him too old for the office, which could lead to a reelection loss, notwithstanding his impressive accomplishments.

There’s an excellent chance that relinquishing the office would improve his approval rating, by demonstrating that he is putting the good of the nation ahead of personal aggrandizement. He would be remembered as the perfect administration-bridger who restored dignity to the White House.  

Announcing at this time could boost his approval and spur Democratic Congressional gains in the upcoming midterms, leading to additional legislative accomplishments in the remainder of his term, such as passing a voting rights bill, additional gun safety and climate change measures, and measures to codify the reproductive rights lost in Dobbs v. Jackson.

Joe Biden should go down in history as one of our greatest Presidents ever.

Richard L. London, State College

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