Letters to the Pilot

Thursday, January 23, 2003





A brief perspective on the relationship between the dead baby and Planned Parenthood.

1. Since 1973, Planned Parenthood has been a major exterminator of unwanted, unborn babies. (One out of every eight abortions in the U.S. is done through PP. In 2001, PP reportedly earned more than $60 million through abortions alone.)

2. Since 1998, Planned Parenthood has been a major supporter of the extermination of unwanted, partially-born babies.

3. Should it come as any surprise that in 2002 Planned Parenthood has no heart for unwanted, recently-born babies? I don't think so.

4. The bottom line is that at Planned Parenthood, unwanted babies have no rights and no choice. ("Choice on Earth"... but not for unwanted babies.)

Pastor Bo Brink,

Storm Lake

Priceless life


On December 31, my son was diagnosed with invasive malignant melanoma. Through prayer and a chance phone call to a friend, I was made aware of MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. I promised myself when I came home, that I would make as many people as possible aware of this advanced state-of-the-art Cancer Center.

So many people that I talked with at MD Anderson Cancer Center told me that if only they had known about the Center from the beginning of their diagnosis, they would of been a patient there from the start. If anyone would like more information, they have a web site or feel free to call me. Life is priceless!

Cathy Nelson,


Wrong way

to lose weight


America's population is growing, not just in number but in size. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 61 percent of adults are either obese or overweight, an increase of almost 15 percent since 1976. Experts are looking for answers and someone to blame. Ironically, it's the food provider, not consumer, that's getting the most attention.

Many people know the risks of being overweight. It's linked to numerous health problems including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer. The U.S. Health and Human Services Department reports that approximately 300,000 American deaths each year are associated with being too heavy.

While almost everyone knows that the growing girth of Americans is cause for concern, few can agree on what to do about it. Numerous weight control programs have come and gone. Stacks of information telling consumers what's in their food and how to control their weight have gone unread. New low-fat products churned out by manufacturers have received lukewarm interest.

These failures have caught the attention of some groups and individuals. A "junk food" tax that's gaining traction in Europe is already under consideration in the California Senate. It would apply to soft drinks sold within the state. An activist group called the Center for Science in the Public Interest even wants national tax on soda and snacks to help discourage consumption.

Not to be outdone, a group of New Yorkers has sued McDonald's, claiming that the fast-food giant is responsible for their weight gain. This tactic is reminiscent of the success trial lawyers had in making millions by bringing class-action lawsuits against cigarette manufacturers.

Using litigation and taxation to change America's consumption habits is a bad idea. Courtrooms and legislative chambers need not be saddled with weight control issues. Instead, consumers must take personal responsibility for how, what and when they eat. Dining in - not out - can lead to healthier eating. Reducing portion sizes and becoming more active can also yield positive results.

There are no quick fixes when it comes to losing weight. It begins and ends with the consumer.

Aaron Putze,

Iowa Farm Bureau

West Des Moines