Letters: Democrats Offer Something to Vote for, Republicans Offer Obstructionism, Abortion Bans, Voter Suppression, and Undemocratic Constitutional Amendments

Bucks County Beacon readers share their views.

Why We Need to Vote for Fetterman  

The American political system is a paradigm of democracy; the world depends on it. Whether impeding military strongmen, upholding an orderly transition of power or modeling a functioning republic, we have always been the paragon. Can we all agree that we’d like to remain in that well deserved position?  

* Most Americans want to protect access to the polls and constrain state or local governments if they restrict that access. 

* Most Americans oppose gerrymandering so that all voices, not just politicians, can be heard.

* Most Americans believe that anonymous corporate donations have no place in politics.

Accessing polls, determining fair congressional districts, and limiting the power of the wealthy are things most Americans agree on.

At the federal level, in order to protect our right to vote, there have been consistent calls for legislative reform which limit state control of elections, but still protect the basic tenets of democracy. Unfortunately, Senate Republicans have blocked these efforts. 

Protecting and preserving our democracy requires difficult choices. Voters have a responsibility to ignore misleading rhetoric and to vote for those who will get the job done. John Fetterman’s vote can be the deciding factor in the Senate passing legislation needed to safeguard our democracy. Despite his recent health issues, Fetterman is a strong and consistent supporter of voting reforms. If there ever was a time to put country over party, it’s now. Partisanship undermines American democracy

Send Fetterman to the Senate ensuring that our elections are free and fair. 

Linda Barton, State College

Democrats Offer Something to Vote For

Americans want something to vote FOR. After years of the Republican’s “Party of NO,” we have a chance to vote FOR the party that has passed laws for the good of the country.

In the last two years, Democrats have voted FOR:

* American Rescue Plan to combat COVID-19

* Infrastructure Law to repair bridges, roads, ports, airports, and BROADBAND access

* The CHIPS and Science Act to help bring manufacturing jobs back to America

* Action on climate change

* Child Tax Credit

* Healthcare for Veterans

* Lower gas prices

* Inflation Reduction Act to reduce the deficit

* Safer Communities, including firearms’ background checks for people under age 21

* Funding to address mental health among youth

* Lowered healthcare costs, including spending caps on insulin for seniors

* Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act

Unfortunately, the Republicans and the Supreme Court are changing laws to take away rights guaranteed by the US Constitution, including the right to vote, whom to marry, and whether to have children. They are limiting and banning Women’s Health Care, including the right to a safe abortion.

Beware … women who don’t have the right to decide when and if they want to reproduce are NOT women—they are LIVESTOCK. 

Once again for the people in the back: gas prices and inflation change, but once our rights are gone, we won’t get them back.

Vote for democracy—our lives, our rights, and our futures are on the ballot.

Janet Friel, State College

Vote Out GOP Hypocrisy

Republicans’ hypocrisy and lies are endless.

Pennsylvania Republican Congressman Glenn Thompson voted against federal legislation requiring states to recognize same-sex marriages. Then Thompson attended his son’s same-sex wedding.

Georgia Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker mindlessly spews anti-abortion rhetoric and decries absent fathers. Evidence shows that he paid for his girlfriend’s abortion and has little to no contact with several of his children.

In 2012, Florida Congressman Ron DeSantis voted against federal funds for victims of Hurricane Sandy in New York and New Jersey. Now Florida Governor Ron DeSantis wants federal money for Hurricane Ian relief and reconstruction.  

Republican Representatives nationwide are lining up for federal money from the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act for their home districts. Not one Congressional Republican voted for this bill.

MAGA Republicans repeat Donald Trump’s lies about fraud in the 2020 election. Not one Republican has produced a single bit of evidence of widespread voter fraud. They all accepted the legitimacy of their own elections on the same ballot. (If Democrats rigged elections, don’t you think Hillary Clinton would be president?)

When Republicans are called on their lies and hypocrisy, they double down, claiming lies are less important than other issues. But they lie here too, knowing the President has little to do with gas prices, that economic woes are international, that murder rates are actually higher in Republican-ruled states.

Republican leaders put party over country. Don’t let them get away with it. End GOP hypocrisy by voting them out of office.

Patty Satalia, State College

Abortion Bans and Fetal Abnormalities

Doctors, not government bureaucracies, should help women make decisions during pregnancy.  Though most pregnancies proceed well, some families face excruciating choices when fetal abnormalities appear in a 16-week amniocentesis or a 20-week anatomy scan.  No one is happy about pregnancy termination in these situations, but for the past 50 years, doctors have helped families with their options.  

Since the Supreme Court reversed 50 years of precedent, ending the rights of women to seek abortions, women and their health care providers face uncertain new standards.  Restrictive new laws are in place in 17 states, soon to be 26.  Medical decisions are complex, and government officials trying to come up with lists of exceptions—everything from ectopic pregnancies, incomplete miscarriages, early water breaking, plus non-viable fetal diagnoses—put physicians in a bind and lower the standard of care for women.  

Many medical groups (American Hospital Association, American College of Emergency Physicians, and others) have signed on to lawsuits against limiting abortion care.  

Now, Republican senator Lindsay Graham is proposing a nationwide 15-week abortion ban with no exceptions for fetal abnormalities.  This would override Pennsylvania’s current laws that uphold families’ choices.  Graham’s mandate would doom women to carry non-viable pregnancies to term (“a baby dying inside you,” one mom said), putting their physical and mental health at risk.  

If you disagree with Graham’s cruelty, be sure to register to vote before Oct. 24. Then, on Nov. 8, vote your conscience by choosing candidates who will protect women’s autonomy, equality and reproductive health.   

Karin Sutherland, Mill Hall

Republicans’ Proposed Amendments to State Constitution Are a Threat to Us All

By now you’ve probably seen full-page ads in your newspaper announcing “Proposed Amendments to the Constitution of Pennsylvania.” And you’ve probably ignored them. Don’t.

These proposed amendments are the latest Republican attack on life as we know it in Pennsylvania.

If enacted these amendments will:

 * Remove any right for women’s reproductive freedom in Pennsylvania. 

 * Raise the voting age in Pennsylvania to 21 (despite 18 being the voting age for federal elections,) and will impose a 60-day residency requirement to vote.  Combined, these two proposals will reduce the vote of young people and college students. Just what Republicans want.

 * Provide for the Auditor General, a politically elected official, to audit elections and election results.

Each is a direct attack on our freedoms. Each is advanced by the Republicans in the State Legislature. And each one will be on the spring Primary ballot when fewer people vote.

In the past, proposals such as these would be discussed in open debate in the Legislature. Legislators would go on record as supporting or opposing these actions which, if passed, would go to the Governor for approval or veto. This is why we elect our representatives.

But such sweeping Constitutional amendment proposals are a way around legislators doing their job, of taking a stand, of letting us know how they vote. It’s a cowardly way for Republican legislators to enact laws without actually voting on them.

These amendments threaten all of us. Vote NO when you see them on the ballot.

Bob Potter, Boalsburg

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Special to The Bucks County Beacon