To the Editor:

Re “The 14th Amendment Should Protect Fetal Life,” by Erika Bachiochi (Opinion guest essay, July 2):

I must challenge Ms. Bachiochi’s insistence on referring to an embryo or fetus as an “unborn child.” Pregnancy begins with a small cluster of undifferentiated cells that are not, in fact, a child. The anti-choice movement calls it a child because it is essential to their argument. But calling it so does not make it so.

At term, that small cluster has definitely grown into an unborn child. Somewhere on the continuum of fetal development it is reasonable to say it has become a person. That moment of personhood is perhaps difficult to define, but Roe at least made the effort.

Given the enormous consequences to the mother, it is important that we give her the right to choose her own well-being for some period of time over that which is not yet an unborn child.

Deborah Taylor
Santa Cruz, Calif.

To the Editor:

Here is a question for Erika Bachiochi. You are a nurse in a hospital and the fire alarm goes off. On the corridor to the right is an incubator with five embryos. On the corridor to the left is a room with a week-old child. You only have time to go down one corridor. Which do you choose?

If you believe that we attain personhood at the moment of conception, then of course you elect to save the embryos. But would you?

Richard Ambron
Great Neck, N.Y.

To the Editor:

I could only shake my head when I read this essay by the conservative Catholic legal scholar Erika Bachiochi.

About 11.6 million children — the majority children of color — live in poverty. At the same time as many as 13 million children live in “food insecure” homes; that is, they and the other members of their families don’t have enough to eat each day. These are living, breathing children with hopes, dreams and pressing daily needs.

I can only wonder how in God’s name any rational, caring person can spend the days stewing about the rights of the “unborn” when already there are far too many hungry, needy children in the United States, let alone in this world.

Ken Cuthbertson
Kingston, Ontario

To the Editor:

In “The Supreme Court Has Made It Even Harder to Fight Climate Change” (editorial, Sunday Review, July 3), the editorial board described the ruling in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency as “a blow to both the public interest and democracy.”

This argument hinges on the notion that Congress has given agencies unchecked authority to govern because they are experts on subjects too complicated for citizens and legislators to understand. Balderdash.

Agencies were established to implement and enforce federal laws. Period. They are not all-knowing, and they are not beyond reproach.

The subject matter experts who staff these agencies are important cogs in the machine, but they are not — and should not be — the ones pulling the levers. Self-government relies on the will of the people, and that will is realized through legislation, not regulation.

Agencies are subject to the same series of checks and balances as the rest of our government. A Supreme Court decision viewed unfavorably by climate activists isn’t a blow to democracy — it’s proof that our government is functioning properly.

John Cornyn
Austin, Texas
The writer is a Republican senator from Texas.

Clinical practice and prudence dictate that a patient treated with Eliquis must limit avoidable risks of head trauma due to its anticoagulant effect.

I strongly suggest that President Biden stop riding a bicycle because of this risk, should he fall and hit his head. Fortunately, Mr. Biden did not strike his head on the ground when he recently fell off his bike. A bicycle helmet is not fully effective protection against an intracranial hemorrhage after a fall.

Lawrence Inra
New York
The writer is a cardiologist at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

To the Editor:

The West has avoided a guilty conscience by its cowardly half-measures to support Ukraine against Russia’s atrocities.

If it wants to leave the fighting to Ukraine, the West should at least implement truly harsh sanctions against Russia’s military and population (to undermine their support for Vladimir Putin) and give Ukraine all the weapons, such as aircraft, ground-to-air missile defense systems and heavy artillery, that it needs to match the resources of the Russian military.

The West has openly spoken about not wanting to “provoke” or “embarrass” Mr. Putin. That has given him a green light (as has the West’s limited assistance) to do whatever he wants to defeat Ukraine and has reassured China, North Korea, Iran and others that they can intimidate the West. The West needs to use this opportunity to weaken Russia and embarrass Mr. Putin, as an example to our other adversaries.

The West’s leaders and diplomats need training in how to deal with bullies and their bluffs.

Ron Kurtz
Alpharetta, Ga.

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