Universities

Readers Write: Abortion, police shooting, universities, space

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Wherever you go, they say, there you are. But does your uterus still remain, in the eyes of the law, in the place you left?

In the latest example of Republican politicians racing to outdo themselves, many are calling for the prosecution of people who leave states like Texas in order to obtain safe and legal abortions. This raises questions that I have not seen fully explored in my daily life or on the evening news.

Several years ago, I visited my brother at his apartment in Colorado. We smoked a joint or two. Upon my return to Minnesota, I was not prosecuted for doing anything illegal in my home state. Neither did my brother when he came back to Florida.

Let’s say a resident of New York is spending a few weeks in Texas this fall (after New York’s recently passed gun law goes into effect). There, she buys a gun and takes it to a church service — you know, in case of another Texas church shooting. When she gets home, will she have to be prosecuted for breaking New York laws while in Texas? I’ve never heard of anything like that. Have you got?

It seems we are fast approaching the point where a woman’s body is considered the property of the state in which she resides, regardless of where she may travel. And the current Supreme Court of the United States, which has become a branch of the Republican Party, will allow it to happen. The only solution I see is mass civil disobedience to halt this impending perversion of “justice” in Republican-controlled states.

Anne Hamré, Roseville

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Efforts by some states to prevent people from crossing state lines to have abortions are similar in tone and substance to the Fugitive Slave Acts. In each case, the purpose of the law is to exert bodily control over a person and prevent his free movement.

Under the Fugitive Slave Acts, private citizens, slave hunters, were empowered to seize individuals in free states and request assistance from the federal government to do so. Today, the mechanism is slightly different, but the use by private citizens of the courts to enforce the law is eerily similar. The fact that these laws can be used against people of color seeking abortions makes them even more harmful.

Enforcement of the fugitive slave laws caused considerable controversy, riots, and deaths, leading northern states to pass “personal liberty laws” to resist. In 1857, the Supreme Court inserted itself into the debate, attempting to resolve the issue on a national scale with the Dred Scott decision. This, of course, did not solve the problem.

I do hope that legislators and courts will take note that in the history of ideas, freedom has won.

Richard Rosivach, New Brighton

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Republican Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio lacks a fraction of the courage shown by the 10-year-old rape victim from his state who had to travel to Indiana for an abortion.

Not only was his state barred by Ohio law from receiving necessary medical care that could potentially preserve his health and life, but Rep. Jordan loudly tweeted his belief that his story was fabricated. He didn’t believe this little rape victim until her rapist was behind bars. When his beliefs about her were exposed, he quickly deleted his tweets out of cowardice and offered no apology to this young child.

Rep. Jordan is 58 years old, and as he ages, he will invariably encounter health emergencies that threaten his health or life. When he’s got that big heart attack or stroke or whatever he’s been having, you can bet he’ll seek and receive whatever treatment is necessary to preserve his health and life in his own condition.

How pathetic that a 58-year-old man and many others like him expect the best treatment for themselves but deny it to a 10-year-old rape victim.

Margaret and Sam Seltz, Afton

POLICE INVOLVED SHOOTING

Regarding the article describing the police-involved shooting early Thursday morning in South Minneapolis, I read with growing impatience to find out the context of the shooting (“Man Killed in Police Standoff,” July 15). It is only in the 14th paragraph that the article exposes the circumstances of the tragic event, circumstances which seem to indicate that the police response was justified, thoughtful and careful. However, this description was preceded by harsh criticism and a list of other police-involved shootings in recent history.

In a time when any police shootout is heavy-handed, it’s essential that you lead with facts, allowing citizens to make thoughtful judgment. Please save citizens’ reactions and narrative of the history of police brutality for later in the article. Your presentation seems prejudicial.

Dave McIntosh, Minneapolis

ADVICE IN UNIVERSITIES

The July 10 Star Tribune article “University Boards Not Listening, Critics Say” asserts that the Minnesota State Board of Trustees is “asleep at the wheel” for having, in part , authorized an increase in tuition fees. Why didn’t the story include the perspective of faculty and staff bargaining units, campus student senates, and the university students’ association? Why hasn’t history provided readers with an accurate account of the comprehensive consultation process in which colleges, universities, and the Minnesota State Board of Trustees actively engaged to determine the prudent to raise tuition fees?

Colleges and universities are subject to the same inflationary pressures that we all face. Some cost increases are beyond our control, such as state-negotiated collective agreements. Faced with a $25 million funding shortfall, we asked the Legislative Assembly – overwhelmed by a $9 billion budget surplus – to fund the shortfall, which would allow tuition fees to remain stable. But the legislature offered no relief to the students.

Nobody wants to raise tuition, but the alternative is to keep cutting programs. College and university presidents regularly discuss budgets that include tuition scenarios with all faculty and staff bargaining units, student senates, and student associations – both at the local campus and system level. . Before authorizing a tuition increase recommendation, the council requires local student senates to document their involvement in the consultation process (available at minnstate.edu). Several student senates reported to the board that they supported or accepted the need for a tuition increase.

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees does not sleep behind the wheel and takes its fiduciary responsibility and accountability to all of its stakeholders very seriously.

This letter is submitted by Roger Moe and George Soule, Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees, respectively.

SPACE

About “Looking at the Universe in Awe, Together” (Minds Exchange, July 14): When I was a freshman in high school in 1957, I was thrilled to talk about what I continue to believe:

“We live in an unlimited universe that exists in unlimited time.” You have no idea how excited I am for the James Webb Space Telescope to reveal new wonders of the cosmos.

Ron Linde, Burnsville