Rep. Palmer’s op-ed distorts DC reproductive health ordinance

Rep. Gary Palmer’s (R-Ala.) op-ed, “Taking aim at funding for D.C.’s ‘unconstitutional’ reproductive health ordinance” (Sept. 5) misrepresents the District of Columbia’s Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act (RHNDA). The gentleman from Alabama claims this law would force employers to provide insurance coverage for certain reproductive health methods and procedures, such as abortion or contraception. That’s a flat-out lie.

As the original sponsor of the bill in the D.C. Council, I know what the law does: It prevents employers from discriminating against women because of their reproductive health decisions — like using birth control to prevent pregnancy or in vitro fertilization to start a family.

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The D.C. Council, composed of actual elected representatives of the people of D.C., passed this bill because we heard alarming stories of women who were fired or faced discrimination simply for making a personal medical decision with which their boss did not agree. This bill makes it explicitly clear that this kind of discrimination will not be tolerated in the District of Columbia.

Rep. Palmer has no business telling the residents of D.C. that they should be forced to choose between their job and their reproductive freedom.  Members of the House of Representatives should ignore Palmer’s claims and stand up for D.C. women.

From David Grosso, D.C. councilmember (At-Large), Washington, D.C.


Hold DACA parents responsible

If the estimated figure of 800,000 DACA recipients is correct, then we also have up to 1.6 million DACA parents that have ingrained disobedience of our laws as an integral part of raising their kids. 

After evading our laws for, in some cases, decades, they still remain in the shadows trying to avoid their personal responsibility for the children they want us to accept.  Wouldn’t it make sense if these parents had to “step up,” as part of their kids’ effort to gain some consideration?  I think so. Regardless of the emotion in this issue, shouldn’t our objective be that they understand that their parents’ actions have consequences?

One thought would be for the parents to admit to, and pay a fine for, their actions (amount based on how long their child has been here). If the average was 10 years per child, at a fine of $1,000 per year, we would generate about $8 billion. We could then apply these collected fines to the border wall. Since the “Dreamers” are predominantly of Mexican origin, wouldn’t that be a bit like Mexico paying for the wall?

From Tom Tyschper, Gilbert, Ariz.


Congress: Stand up for Dreamers

President Donald Trump’s reassurance to DACA recipients, “You have nothing to worry about” until March, ironically,  sounds more like a warning: “You’ve every  reason to worry about after March.”

President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP divided over impeachment trial strategy Official testifies that Bolton had 'one-on-one meeting' with Trump over Ukraine aid Louisiana governor wins re-election MORE’s recision of DACA is undoubtedly a punitive measure. Children who arrived illegally with their parents, and have been educated and grown up to be Americans with scant knowledge of their parents’ country, will be forced to move back to the place they hardly know or can connect to.

In fact, we are looking at a “reverse brain-drain” in the potential of most children who have blossomed into good and productive citizens. This will be indeed a cruel and sad antithesis to the fundamentals of America’s foundation that hinges on liberty, equality and justice for all. 

I hope the members of Congress transgress party lines and embrace basic reasoning fortified with humanity and compassion by standing up for the dreamers that represent what America is all about.

From Atul M. Karnik, Woodside, N.Y.