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Planned Parenthood and abortion

Updated: November 19, 2012 3:09PM

President Barack Obama brought up Planned Parenthood four times in Tuesday’s debate. It was an obvious attempt to frighten women into thinking that Gov. Mitt Romney would take away their health care. What he failed to mention is that Planned Parenthood is the largest single provider of abortions in this country, committing over 1 million procedures over the past three years. He also failed to mention that it isn’t contraceptive coverage that Romney opposes — it’s forcing religious organizations and individuals to pay for such coverage for their employees.

The president also repeated the falsehood that Planned Parenthood provides mammograms. It only refers for them. According to former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson, the only breast health services PP provides are manual breast exams — the same kind any woman can perform on herself in the shower. In addition, they are done by nurses. The only service provided by doctors at PP sites is abortion. No woman relies on PP for diagnosis or treatment of breast abnormalities.

Women aren’t stupid. We know a wedge issue when we see one.

Eleanore Strong, Lincoln Park

Why is Romney tax plan secret?

Mitt Romney is proposing massive tax cuts going disproportionately to the wealthy, including lower rates that he claims would be paid for by closing loopholes to broaden the tax base. But he won’t say which loopholes.

The Joint Committee on Taxation, Congress’s official nonpartisan scorekeeper, recently released a letter on what it called “an experiment,” based on lowering rates and broadening the base. Given their results, it seems likely that a plan like Romney’s would require big middle-class tax increases or would explode the deficit.

Republicans were quick to criticize the experiment, noting that it was not based on Romney’s plan, and questioning many technical aspects. So, what is Romney’s plan?

Here’s a novel idea: Romney should tell us the details of his plan and have the Joint Committee prepare revenue estimates, which is customary for serious tax legislation. As he has transformed from “severely conservative” in the primaries to sounding like a moderate nowadays, maybe his plan has changed as well. Who could possibly know? He has never disclosed the details. If he has any plan that would actually work and would not hurt the middle class, why is he keeping it a secret?

David J. Roberts,

associate professor of accountancy,

DePaul University

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