For Personal Rights, Vote No on Kansas Abortion Amendment


Editorials and other opinion content provide insights into issues important to our community and are independent of the work of our newsroom reporters.

Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann has explicitly argued that the government should make abortion decisions.  It's wrong.

Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann explicitly argued that the government should make abortion decisions. It’s wrong.

Associated Press file photo

Individual right

In his July 8 commentary, “The Value Them Both amendment is not a Catholic issue,” (7A), Archbishop Joseph F. Neumann writes that the Kansas Supreme Court made “the outlandish assertion that a right to abortion exists in the Kansas Constitution, taking political abortion out of the hands of the people and their duly elected representatives and putting it into the hands of the court”.

Not so. The court placed abortion policy in the hands of the individual, making it a personal decision.

-Charles E. Downing, Roeland Park

It takes two

In all the pro-life rhetoric, I have yet to hear any suggestion to hold DNA-identified fathers responsible or accountable for their part in the problem. Perhaps if there were greater legal and/or financial obligations – such as a minimum of 18 years of financial support per child – the discussion would shift to what help women need.

Thanks to Star reporters Ella McCarthy, Lisa Gutierrez and Katie Bernard for their insightful July 6 front-page article, “Eleven Women, Eleven Stories.” He explained why abortion should be private, personal and apolitical.

– Marilyn Schaeffer Kansas City

Biden can’t do it

President Joe Biden has said the main culprit behind rising gasoline and food prices was Russian President Vladimir Putin. On July 2, Biden tweeted a message to companies running gas stations to lower their prices because “this is a time of war and global peril.” If so, he should act as if we were at war and take decisive action to finally defeat the Russian army in order to stop the slaughter of innocent people in Ukraine.

The only country that can really influence and stop Putin’s aggression against Ukraine without using any physical force is China. Unfortunately, China and Russia are working in tandem to weaken and destroy America, so they can retain their power to control the world eventually.

-Steve Shaw, Kansas City

Boost Shelter Dogs

I was very touched by Michael Gerson’s comment on the love and loss of a pet. (July 7, 9A, “A new dog is a gift of pure joy and love of life”) He didn’t mention how he got his new puppy, but he did note that his previous dog was a bichon. Havanese, suggesting that he had purchased from a breeder.

I’m an animal lover and I think Gerson had a great opportunity to advocate for shelter dogs rather than buying one.

-Margaret Kensinger Raytown


The Kansas City Council is considering two crucial ordinances: the Climate Protection and Resilience Plan and energy-efficient building codes. The science that argues for these ordinances is certain. To oppose it is to succumb to an accelerated extinction of life as we know it on this planet.

Opponents of these orders have taken a “yes, but…” approach. Global warming is bad, they admit, but the necessary changes would negatively affect a certain “demographic”, “economic model”, “lifestyle choice”, etc. And, as a stall, now is not the time, they say. So, they say, we must continue on the path that leads to ruin for all of us.

Effective climate action requires a “Yes, and…” commitment from all segments of society. Every person, neighborhood, and political and economic entity must do their part and convert from fossil fuels.

The government must ensure that everyone is equally included in the solution. However, there is no moral argument that the opt-out, individually or collectively, is acceptable. We will all walk this path together.

We must act now or deliver our posterity to calamity.

-Stephen Melton, Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Parkville

British meaning

Britain, from which we declared independence 246 years ago, has recently demonstrated exemplary democratic principles. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been embroiled in embarrassment, scandal and misjudgment. Several members of his cabinet resigned over these issues, and many members of his own party called for his resignation, which he accepted. (July 8, 1A, “British leader quits as soon as party replaces him”)

Donald Trump – a self-centered misogynist, narcissist and prevaricator – has committed far worse crimes, including inciting insurrection on the United States Capitol. Yet his closest advisers and most of his party members have closed ranks behind him and stand fully by his side.

We have a lot to learn from the British about how a democracy works.

-Kirk Duncan, land park

verdict of history

In her June 26 column, “Conservatives, We Need to Move On From Trump,” (20A), Nicole Russell wrote that the Donald Trump era must be over. Another view is that the stain on our proud American history will be with us forever.

In 2016 we rejected virtue and endorsed a guy who presented himself as a conceited, vulgar, vindictive, venal, pathological liar – a cheater, thief, serial adulterer, porn star fornicator and p -self-promoting grabber. And some 74 million of us who hadn’t seen his incompetence voted for him again.

In a hundred years, he will still be one of, if not the most miserable, American presidents.

By the way, I’m blind. The gratitude of all of us who are blind goes to the publisher, editors, staff and advertisers of the Kansas City Star for making much of each edition available by telephone through the National Federation of the Blind’s NFB-NEWSLINE service. at

– Dirk Neyhart Berkeley, California

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