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Posted on Thu, Aug 30, 2012 : 10:37 a.m.

Hoekstra's stance against abortion has gone too far

By Letters to the Editor

By now, we've all see the outrageous comments by a Missouri Senate candidate implying that women who get pregnant after rape weren't raped but what scares me more is that even here in Michigan there are politicians who want to strip rape victims of their right to choose.

Specifically, Pete Hoekstra the former west Michigan GOP Congressman who brags about being against abortion in cases of rape and incest. He even wants to make some forms of birth control illegal!

Religious freedom means that we each get to make our own moral decision and when it comes to having the government make decision for women who've been raped, Hoekstra has gone too far.

Jane Michener

Ann Arbor



Sun, Sep 2, 2012 : 12:53 p.m.

Is Pete Hoekstra's position on abortion as extreme as IL State Senator Barack Obama's, when he voted against requiring medical attention be given to babies born alive after an abortion procedure? Hoekstra is standing up for the concept that babies born and unborn have a right to life. Barack Obama's voting record indicates he does not. I think the GOP's position on contraceptionis being distorted. Most Americans believe that contraception is a private matter. Therefore it is not the responsibilty of the Federal government to pay for it. Which seems to be the Democrat position.


Sun, Sep 2, 2012 : 1:29 a.m.

Hoekstra claimed to have found the WMDs in Iraq in 2006. Seems to me his mind is clouded by ideology and wishful thinking.


Sat, Sep 1, 2012 : 12:09 a.m.

I have a since belief that abortion takes the life of another human. Based on my belief, how can the means of conception make the unborn child any less human in my eyes. I respect those who differ on the humanity of the unborn, my problem is with those who profess to be pro-life, but feel the method of conception somehow changes the humanity of the child.

Michael K.

Fri, Aug 31, 2012 : 3:54 a.m.

At least Pete is a good fit for the party. Did you know the criteria? Angry White Men! That is according to one of their own: "The demographics race we're losing badly," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told the Washington Post. "We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."


Sat, Sep 1, 2012 : 12:06 a.m.

They are white angry men because they fear women's rights and rising minorities. They've had the cards stacked in their favor for so many years they want to blame others because they can't compete in today's society. The GOP can run on homophobia, guns, racism, God, and sexism. Soon the GOP will be extinct and the world will be a better place.


Thu, Aug 30, 2012 : 10:14 p.m.

As far as I'm concerned you can do whatever you want as long as you pay for it. The idea that your neighbors should pay for your birthcontrol and abortions is unbelievable.................especially since many expect their neighbors to pay for food, housing, medical, internet, phones, etc........


Fri, Aug 31, 2012 : 3:10 p.m.

A2citizen - If you have an "unwanted" child, put it up for adoption. I know couples who would have provided a good home and ended up going to Haiti, Russia, and other countries to adopt. We have more compassion for dogs in an animal shelter. Putting the child up for adoption nd someone paying to raise them costs even less than $350 for an abortion. I must admit I had no idea you could kill an unborn child that cheaply.............right in line with euthenizing an animal though................


Fri, Aug 31, 2012 : 1:28 a.m.

Mike, While I agree with your sentiment look at it from a long term economic perspective: An abortion is $350 to $550. The government would spend about $200k raising an unwanted child to adulthood. Strategically, it's better to nip a problem in the bud.


Thu, Aug 30, 2012 : 6:26 p.m.

Hmmmm, very interesting. I made it a point not to comment directly on the abortion issue. Some here have definitely been reading too much between the lines. You can replace the abortion issue in Ms Micheners article with any you choose. The crux of the argument is still the same; I.e. we can freely choose our own morality and all others must abide by our own decision. I think that's it in a nutshell. I'm saying that you can't. A society is structured and governed by laws that we must all abide by. Let's choose another moral issue, and see if her argument still works. Here is the homepage of a group of people advocating for pedophilia: These people would fit nicely into her rhetoric. Now most people would be appalled with this group, and rightly so. But you see, they would use Ms Micheners moral argument in the exact same way that she does. It simply doesn't work. And, I still haven't commented on the abortion issue per se.


Thu, Aug 30, 2012 : 5:35 p.m.

Reagan messed up when he made abortion a litmus test for Republicans. Prior to that it wasn't an issue. Now Republicans are stuck with the right-wing freaks. I wish them and the left-wing freaks would form another party.


Thu, Aug 30, 2012 : 5:28 p.m.

Making religion dominant in political & civil life is working SO WELL in the Middle East. The arrogance and simultaneous incompetence of our "political leaders" and "parties" is the real outrage. Both Democrats and Republicans are in self-destruct mode. There's no reason to follow or advocate for either because: it means they will take the whole country down with them. When Hoekstra, Ryan, et al can prove they are competent in the fields of biology and anthropology, then they can claim some authority over the lives of citizens. But they'll still have to prove that interfering in the lives of citizens is the right of government, since government is the instrument they'll use to enforce their moral standards on US. Likewise, when Barrack Obama and his liberal cohorts can prove they're experts in self defense, then they can claim that citizens aren't competent to defend themselves with guns. But they'll still have to prove that government is all-knowing and has the right to interfere with our inalienable right to defend ourselves and our loved ones - because they too will use government to enforce their un-supported theories on us. Eventually, people will understand that both political parties with their pet theory ideologies are working hard to persuade us that government has the absolute right to dictate how we conduct our ives. Just being supported by (financed by) a political party is one proof that the candidate or office holder wants only to use government boots on our necks. Religions force us to focus on the rewards and punishments due us after we die. A highly dubious theory of how the Universe works. All around us we see evidence which shows we should be focused on how we behave while still alive. Arcane and nebulous imaginings are no substitute for good citizenship and good reasoning based on what we actually know.


Thu, Aug 30, 2012 : 5:22 p.m.

For some reason this opinion piece conjured up an image of Dan Akroyd on Point Counterpoint in my mind. Fire away synapses, do your worst!


Thu, Aug 30, 2012 : 4:48 p.m.

Until men can get pregnant, they have no business regulating a woman's womb.


Thu, Aug 30, 2012 : 4:47 p.m.

Yes, Pete Hoekstra toes the party line. Surprise!! But shall we celbrate that the majority of the abortions performed are minorities and WOMEN! Shall we celbrate that more then 77% of the abortions are performed by MALE doctors. There is a war on Women, some from the left, some from the right, always stepping forward to tyranny We all know that Pete Hoekstra will never get the party line though congress.


Fri, Aug 31, 2012 : 5:02 p.m.

Brilliant, Mitch. So because many doctors are men, abortions are sexist? Seems legit.

Michael K.

Thu, Aug 30, 2012 : 4:33 p.m.

From the link posted above by Rork, on Hoekstra's voting record. He voted for a "personhood Amedment" which would ban abortion in ALL CASES, including rape, incest, and mothers life in danger. It would also ban many forms of contraception. Voted YES to: Grant the pre-born equal protection under 14th Amendment. (Jan 2007) Declare preborn as persons under 14th amendment. (Feb 2009)


Thu, Aug 30, 2012 : 5:24 p.m.

In my opinion this is akin the Libertarians for Life point of view. l4l dot org


Thu, Aug 30, 2012 : 4:29 p.m.

Republicans seem to want all these kids to be born but don't seem interested in supporting them once they are. Pro-birth, not pro-life.

Michael K.

Thu, Aug 30, 2012 : 4:29 p.m.

Also from American Vision. One of the commentators basically says: Akin should have lied to get into the Senate, so that he can do his work in secret. This is how Ryan and Romney are going to frame the debate: "Who is going to wade through this stuff other than pro-life conservatives? That is why I think it was so terribly unwise for Akin to even bring it up. Better for him to speak vagueries, get elected, and work quietly in his sphere for the unborn, than to utter things the general public does not understand and lose the election. He has given pearls to swine when we needed him to save those pearls for his work in congress. Those who are calling for his withdrawal understand this."

Michael K.

Thu, Aug 30, 2012 : 4:21 p.m.

The group "American Vision" has an analysis of why Akin is CORRECT when he says "Women don't get pregnant from legitimate (forcible) rape. The body has a way of shutting that down." That is right - they continue to belive that if a women gets pregnant, it was not forcible (legitimate) rape - they walk through the analysis to "prove" that statistically! Despite the FACT that there are approximately 32,000 women who become pregnant due to rape each year, they claim that a former Director of the National Right to Life has PROVEN THAT PREGNACY DUE TO RAPE IS RAPE. To QUOTE their article: "... this statement came straight from the former president of the National Right to Life, Willke, in his series, "Assault Rape and Pregnancy." Willke provided a list of considerations to prove that pregnancy resulting from forcible rape is extremely rare." The difference in statistics is because, among other things: * Women often lie about being raped, and * The body has ways of shutting that down. (although that is only "one consisderation") THEY BELIEVE THIS, AS DO MANY CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIANS. They are just learning that they can't say it publicly.


Fri, Aug 31, 2012 : 12:42 a.m.

Conservative Christians? No such thing. Conservatives have no Christian values. Greed and hate are Conservative values, not Christian values.


Thu, Aug 30, 2012 : 5:14 p.m.

@Michael K. - As a "Conservative Christian", I certainly do not believe that. Then again I stayed awake in Biology and Health classes. My thoughts on abortion are pretty straightforward. I feel that abortion should only be used in very narrow circumstances (i.e., danger to mother's life, rape). I feel that abortion should NOT be used as a method of birth control. I feel that abortion should not be made illegal. I feel that obtaining an abortion (or having a child, for that matter) should be at least as difficult as obtaining a handgun is in Michigan.


Thu, Aug 30, 2012 : 4:20 p.m.

There is no **FIRE** in the movie theater... It is funny how everyone gets soooo bent out of shape on the big issues like this, yet even when either party has full control of the Whitehouse AND Congress, these hot/big issues don't change... stop yelling fire, these OPINIONS (I don't agree with them FYI, but do think abortion should be minimized) won't ever pass.

E Claire

Thu, Aug 30, 2012 : 4:11 p.m.

How quickly people forget...isn't Stabenow married to a man who tried to pay a 20 year old for sex? And I think it was Clinton (D) who had sex with a women not much older than his own daughter, right? Funny how those on the left will take the view of a few on the right and paint the whole party with it but when one of their own does something wrong, it's just an individual issue. "Women" are no less a campaign tool for the left as they are for the right. There's much more than abortion rights at stake (and we all know that the president can't change a supreme court decision) so I hope women will look at the candidates as a whole and see that we need a change to get this country back on track.


Fri, Aug 31, 2012 : 2:22 a.m.

'tis true. D's tend to have love affairs, conservative politicians and pundits mainly have financial and homosexual affairs.


Fri, Aug 31, 2012 : 12:39 a.m.

Get our country back on track? Keep the party that got us off the track out of power; I.e., George W Bush and his wrecking crew of fanatical war-mongering, deregulating, and deficit creating henchmen that destroyed $50 trillion in American net worth in 2008. Romney is a dishonest version of Bush, and Ryan wouldn't no the truth I it hit him between the eyes.


Thu, Aug 30, 2012 : 11:12 p.m.

Sorry - that should be "effect">


Thu, Aug 30, 2012 : 9:57 p.m.

"No {sic} being able to find a job or affordable housing, not being able to feed and clothe yourself" is of course one of the big issues. It might even have an affect on someone's reproductive decisions.

E Claire

Thu, Aug 30, 2012 : 8:35 p.m.

Yes, this is about a congressman, (I do have some reading comprehension skills, thanks) but we all know the purpose of this letter is to slam anyone who disagrees with abortion. And we all know that we will never have a supreme court makeup in this country, regardless of who is appointing them, who will overturn this opinion. I'm sorry you felt the need to kill your child rather than choosing adoption. Whether it be 7 weeks or 9 weeks, this will still a child. Why would 2 weeks matter if you didn't feel that this was a baby that deserved to be born? Although I have sympathy for someone who feels this is the only option, I can hardly feel sorry that your friend had to go through the legal system. She made the choice to have unprotected sex and if anyone wants to argue that she was too young to be responsible, then I say she was too young to make a decision to kill her baby. And I don't know what to say about someone who thinks "reproductive rights" is the biggest issue out there. Do you and your friends get pregnant by accident that often? Have you not heard of condoms or the pill, adoption maybe? You have all the rights you need to not get pregnant and/or not to raise a child. This is not about "choice", it's about the legal killing of unborn children. No one is taking away your right to choose to be responsible. No being able to find a job or affordable housing, not being able to feed and clothe yourself, inching towards another foreign invasion (Syria, Iran), federal over-regulation making it impossible for businesses to make a profit; these are just a few of the many, many issues that are far more important than your right to use abortion as birth control.

Renee S.

Thu, Aug 30, 2012 : 5:56 p.m.

The President has the greatest amount of control over Supreme Court judges; he appoints them. Besides which, if you didn't notice, this piece is about a Congressman. And Congressman have slowly been eroding our right to choose in states all over, including Michigan. Michigan has a mandatory waiting period, mandatory counseling, and a minor must inform and obtain the consent of a parent to get an abortion. When I got my abortion in Kalamazoo 10 years ago, I ended up having to wait two full weeks, taking my pregnancy from 7 weeks to 9 weeks. A friend who was underage when she got hers had to go through a judge to be granted an exception to the parental consent law, almost pushing her into the second trimester. Reproductive rights affect myself and my friends personally- moreso than most other issues. Sure, the economy is important, but it's also complicated and I have no idea how to vote to make the economy better. I'm far from a single issue voter, but a vote for reproductive rights measurably improves my life in a way that votes for any other issue does not. I'm not sure if unions make my life better or worse, if lower taxes will make my life better or worse, but I sure know that restrictions on reproductive health have a negative effect on a lot of people, including myself.


Thu, Aug 30, 2012 : 4:06 p.m.

Why would any woman be a Republican? The Republican Party is right out of the Middle Ages when it comes to women's rights.

Rork Kuick

Thu, Aug 30, 2012 : 4:05 p.m. shows his voting record in a fairly orderly manner. For a person like me, it ain't pretty.

Michael K.

Thu, Aug 30, 2012 : 3:59 p.m.

The GOP Platform says the same thing - no abortion , with NO exception for rape, incest, or the mothers life! Paul Ryan also authored a "Personhood Amendment" that would prevent many forms of contraception. He maintains that "preventing the implantation of an embryo" is murder, even though that is not actually how the "morning after" pill really works, according to doctors. Akin said he "misspoke" when he used the word "legitimate." He and Ryan together authored a bill that would only allow abortion for "forcible" rape, which is what he meant. Notice that he is not disavowing any of the "concepts" behind what he said. Only that he said the wrong word at that moment. If you do a little digging, you will find that crowd still STRONGLY DEFENDING the concept that WOMEN RARELY GET PREGNANT from FORCIBLE RAPE. Seriously. That is from the former director of the national Right to Life group - a doctor. There is a lot on the line for women in November. Do the research - I assure you that ALL of the above is true!


Thu, Aug 30, 2012 : 3:06 p.m.

Jane No, you most certainly do not get to make your own moral decisions. That is, I'm assuming you imply that those decisions are free from any societal laws or consequences. A society without those constraints is anarchy.


Thu, Aug 30, 2012 : 5:03 p.m.

This is not a moral decision. It is a healthcare decision.

Jonathan Hurshman

Thu, Aug 30, 2012 : 4:53 p.m.

I agree with sbbuilder. What is a "moral" decision? It is a decision which embodies a concept of "ought", which differentiates between different states the world could be in and treats some of those states as being better than others. If the decision can be expressed as "ought" or "should", then the decision has a moral component to it. Some examples: • A law against texting while driving assumes (among other things) the concept that people ought not to injure themselves or others and the concept that operating a vehicle is a privilege which ought to be exercised only by those who are as undistracted as reasonably possible. • A law which grants a tax benefit for home ownership assumes (among other things) that homeownership should be encouraged, that a society with more homeowners will be better for everyone than a society with fewer homeowners. • A law which requiring refunds for bottle returns assumes (among other things) that people should recycle. It is difficult to think of any law which has no moral component whatsoever. So it is inaccurate to say that "religious freedom means that we each get to make our own moral decision."