Non Sequitur relief
Thank you for restoring Non Sequitur by Wiley Miller to your pages. I’m glad the BDN decided its erring creator was capable of expiation and rehabilitation. I was unable credibly to join the ranks of those writing in to threaten cancellation of their subscriptions over this cartoon’s banishment. I’m all too aware of the dire condition of print journalism in our country and thus greatly cherish the BDN for gallantly soldiering on independently in such a challenging media environment.
Still, every morning when I opened to the comics section, I felt a new pang of surprise and loss at the absence of one of the few genuinely clever and funny strips therein. It is a relief to no longer experience this daily jolt of frustration.
Our tax dollars should not fund abortion
We adamantly express our strong opposition to LD 820, a bill that would, in essence, mandate taxpayer funding for abortions. We do not want our tax “obligations” to support the pre-meditated murder of unborn human beings. With that said, we continue to hope and pray that those who are faced with unwanted or unplanned pregnancies will always do the right thing to keep their precious tiny ones alive.
Ellie and Joe Bertolaccini
Covering abortion care
Last month, I attended the public hearing for LD 820, a bill requiring insurance companies that cover prenatal care to cover abortion as well. I was awestruck by the honesty and bravery of the women who shared their experience with abortion during testimony in support of the bill. In story after story, we heard about how insurance denials — or just the complete lack of coverage — imposed an additional, painful burden on women in need of abortion care. For some, insurance discrimination meant that getting the care they needed cost many thousands of dollars out of pocket.
When insurance covers prenatal care but not abortion care, the insurer is leaning on the scale, inserting itself into a decision that belongs only to the person who is pregnant. Maine can do better.
It was inspiring to hear all the testimony in support of LD 820, and it’s heartening to see that support for the bill is so widespread — and that so many of our legislators recognize that no matter what you decide about a pregnancy, you shouldn’t face discrimination based on the type of insurance you have.
The consequences of poverty
This letter is in response to the March 29 OpEd by Michael Howard, “Why income guarantees makes sense to reduce poverty.” He notes the long-term harms of child poverty and I wanted to convey these lifelong consequences. Children who grow up in impoverished households fall behind their peers in reading and math before they begin kindergarten. They will obtain two fewer years of education, earn less than half as much over their lifetime, receive more in food stamps, are more likely to report poor overall health, and that is assuming they can manage to stay out prison, as boys who grow up in poverty are more likely to be arrested later in life. Childhood poverty costs the U.S. $500 billion annually in reduced incomes, increased crime and poor health.
By boosting household income, the positive effects will be seen in the life stages as early as prenatal and maternal care. Children will perform better in school, have increased college enrollment rates, increased earnings and a decrease in psychological problems. A basic income would allow children the proper child care and learning opportunities required to be successful throughout their lives and end the cycle of poverty.
A note for the critics
Regarding some of the recent commentary, there are many legitimate reasons to express outrage these days, and a community theater show that you don’t like isn’t one of them. Taste is constructed through our limited cultural spheres and what we’ve been taught to perceive as good or bad, usually through a Eurocentric lens. I have opinions about what makes art good, but I don’t have answers, and I’d never shame someone for earnestly trying to create something meaningful.
It takes so much courage to create something and put it into the world. Local theater makers are also actively contributing to their community. I want to make good art, but the reason I make it is that it helps me feel connected to people and it gives me meaning. Directors and creators who make community theatre are facilitating this process for countless others. Doing theater in this community allowed me to fall in love with the art in the first place and choose to devote my life to it. It’s so important and I’m grateful to come from a town that, regardless of mean-spirited criticism, devotes so much heart to community theater.