Mailbag: Response to abortion commentary was mistaken

Local politicians showed up in support of the Planned Parenthood's national day of action "Bans Off Abortion" rally.
Local politicians showed up in support of the Planned Parenthood’s national day of action “Bans Off Abortion” rally at Centennial Regional Park in Santa Ana on May 14, 2022.
(File Photo)

The letter in response to the Planned Parenthood commentary “Share your abortion story” authored by Bill and Jann Dunlap ( Daily Pilot Mailbag, May 19 ) serves to show how many don’t understand the complexity of an unwanted pregnancy. Throwing around false morality and debasing women is less than helpful.

There are myriad reasons for unwanted pregnancies and why decisions are made to end them. The road from conception to a newborn child is long and fraught with uncertainty for both the mother and the embryo/fetus.

The government, the state and whatever your religious beliefs are cannot change that only the woman can decide for herself whether to carry a pregnancy to term. Regardless of what laws are enacted, women will go to great lengths to retain their humanity, which includes bodily autonomy.

Lisa Shook
Huntington Beach

A couple from Newport Beach recently opined in the Daily Pilot on the Mother’s Day commentary regarding the erosion of abortion rights in America. The editorial was not about abortion somehow being a gift for Mother’s Day at all, but leave it to anti-choice conservatives to shift the narrative. This is an annoying tactic they often use, but what really gripes me the most about conservatives is that they are always railing about individual rights and freedoms but only when it suits them (guns). My take on the whole abortion issue here is to stay out of a woman’s reproductive business. If you don’t like abortion, don’t have one. But don’t block a woman that needs one from having one! Alas for conservatives it’s always: Do as I say, only what I say.

Mike Aguilar
Costa Mesa

Convene at Camp David over guns

Kudos to Moms Demand Action and their support for National Gun Violence Awareness Day June 2 as reported in the Daily Pilot on May 18. With mass shootings happening virtually every day now, I have to ask: Who isn’t aware of the problem?

What’s not so obvious is how to solve it. With this thought in mind, here’s what I recently asked President Biden to do: Take a page out of Jimmy Carter’s 1978 playbook and convene a Camp David gun summit.

Recall that when the former president brought together old warriors Anwar Sadat of Egypt and Menachem Begin of Israel, it took nearly two weeks of intense negotiations before they forged a peace agreement. Today, Biden needs to bring representatives of the NRA, 2nd Amendment, law enforcement and grieving relatives together to find common ground on gun safety measures.

It won’t be easy, but I’m sure they can do it. Once that happens, the group’s next step would be to hold hands and visit lawmakers in Washington who oppose new gun laws. Having worked on Capitol Hill, I believe their new Camp David agreement will give members of Congress the political coverage they need to support new initiatives.

Like I said, this won’t be easy; but, I am convinced all roads to new gun safety laws lead to Camp David. I hope Moms Demand Action will agree.

Denny Freidenrich
Laguna Beach

It is time the Huntington Beach City Council majority gives up the pretense of giving “local control” and representation to most of its constituents. Mayor Tony Strickland, backed by his council cronies, Pat Burns, Casey McKeon and Gracey Van Der Mark, have launched a crusade to strip away the norms that have governed the city well this century and that threatens to plunge it into the “bad old days” of the previous one.

The Daily Pilot article (“Huntington Beach mayor will select who gives invocation at City Council meetings,” May 18) states that Strickland “drew on his experience in state government in pitching the idea [for the invocation].” Just like he “drew on his experience” in raising the campaign contribution limits for local offices to “state limits” or his outside experience in dismantling our local social and governmental norms to further advance his agenda. Messing with the invocation and our boards and commissions structure, effectively muzzling the council minority members intent on actually providing solutions to our dilemmas, trashing civic diversity we have cultivated as somehow being “woke” or smacking of socialism, and on and on.

In dealing with state housing requirements and mandates, Mayor Strickland has become the partisan warrior his “experience in state government” taught him to be, much to the distress of the community being victimized. I would submit that the vast majority of Surf City residents do not want to see us hit by a tsunami of penalties and punishment from the state just to preserve the partisan tough guy image the council majority is trying to project. This, in the place of being constructive and achieving real progress with our problems and issues. While some may be reluctant to claim “the emperor wears no clothes” in providing real leadership, an increasing percentage of our citizenry is leaning in that direction.

It seems the only way for Huntington Beach to truly regain local control is to toss out those council members who are making us lose it.

Tim Geddes
Huntington Beach

The trio behind Banning Ranch

Few people know that Newport Beach is the home of a bestselling author who has dozens of books to her credit. Part of the reason for this unintentional secret is Suzanne Forster’s modesty regarding her first career. Most people know her as the member of a three-person team who brought Banning Ranch to fruition after more than a decade of exceedingly hard work. Few would guess that one person would have two such distinguished careers.

The story about how she became a writer is quite interesting. She was pursuing a degree in clinical psychology when she was involved in a serious car accident and had to drop out of grad school. The recovery took longer than expected, and by the time that she was well enough to return, she had published a book and launched a new career.

Perhaps the most crucial role that Suzanne played in addition to being chief writer for the group was educating the community by giving talks in private homes and other larger venues about the importance of Banning Ranch, the last unprotected open space in coastal Orange County. Accompanying her in these talks was Dorothy Kraus who formerly worked in leadership positions at major health services, including UC San Diego and UC Irvine and is an equally important community leader. I was so impressed with Suzanne and Dorothy’s presentation that I joined the Banning Ranch effort on the spot.

One would be remiss not to mention the president of Banning Ranch who spearheaded the group. Terry Welsh managed this endeavor while working full time as a pathologist. It does not seem that this triumvirate ever got the full credit that they deserved for their incredible success with the Banning Ranch project — their gift to the community.

Lynn Lorenz
Newport Beach