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The Sotomayor Hearings

Friday, July 17, 2009

Protesters shouting down senators and carrying bloody dolls at Judge Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearings ["The Scene: Culture Wars Intrude on a Day of Cordiality," front page, July 14] undermine civil efforts to find common ground on reducing abortions. While culture-war theatrics provide the media with sensational images, they do nothing to support pregnant women. The time is ripe to end our nation's divisive abortion battles. President Obama has emphasized respectful dialogue and supports efforts to help women avoid the tragedy of abortion. Pro-life Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) and pro-choice Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) are sponsoring legislation in the House with the goal of reducing the number of abortions.

Senate legislation would help pregnant women with prenatal health care, nutrition support and other critical resources. Growing efforts to reduce abortions are a cause for hope that Republicans and Democrats have embraced. After more than three decades of political paralysis and legal gridlock, a more productive debate is emerging. The meeting last week between President Obama and Pope Benedict XVI should establish a framework for finding common ground to reduce the number of abortions.

THOMAS P. MELADY

Advisory Council Member

FRED ROTONDARO

Chairman of the Board

Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good

Washington

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Only outrageous chutzpah on the part of Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions would permit him to accuse Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor of, in effect, racism ["Republicans Walk Fine Line Questioning Sotomayor," The Take, July 14].

After all, Mr. Sessions was rejected by the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1986 for a federal judgeship because of his racist statements. Two Republican senators joined eight Democrats in the 10-8 vote against him, the Senate being controlled by Republicans at the time. That may have been 23 years ago, but as far as I know, Mr. Sessions hasn't recanted. If Republicans can dredge up words of the nominee from ages past, shouldn't the accuser be fair game?

JOHN FAY

Wheaton

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